Many Ghanaian journalists relegate professionalism to the background and trample on people’s rights, a Journalism lecturer at the Ghana Institute of Journalism (GIJ) has observed.
Mr Carlton Coffie, who was speaking on the Morning Xpress on Radio XYZ, noted that there are many people on radio parading as journalists who lack the wherewithal to work diligently and with accuracy.
“I think few people are trying to be professional but the majority are just trampling on the right of other people in trying to express what they claim to be their freedom of expression,” he noted.
The Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) has affirmed that abuse of media freedom in the country is still high, although it improved significantly over the past few years.
According to IEA’s Socio-Economic and Governance Survey, abuse of media freedom reduced by 10 percentage points from 56 per cent in 2014 to 46 per cent in 2015, but the latter is still high enough which has become a cause for concern.
In relation to the survey, Mr Coffie bemoaned how journalists add their emotions and personal opinions to what is meant to be news and abuse the media freedom.
He said the actions of journalists, particularly those who operate in vernacular in recent times cause vulnerable people much pain.
Talking about how majority of news casters describe “graphic details” of obscenities in rape cases and other incidents, Mr Coffie called on the Ghana Journalists Association to crack the whip on persons who engage in such “ridiculous” acts to reduce the increasing rate at which they have become insensitive to victims of abuse.
“It’s ridiculous (but) I believe that one of the problems we have is from maybe the Ghana Journalists Association. It’s about time we differentiated people who are just in broadcast from people who are doing real journalism. I find that we are using this statement We say everybody us now a broadcast journalist just because he’s heard on radio. It’s not so,” he said.
The lecturer also kicked against the era when people who are fluent in a particular language is put on air to say “anything” in the name of journalism, saying it does not help in nation building.
“…some of them are behaving, if you ask me, like Okada drivers on the airwaves,” he posited.
To him, the current crop of journalists should be monitored by authorities to behave in a journalistic ways to avoid “the tyranny on the part of the Media.”
Story by: Henryson Okrah/myxyzonline.com/93.1MHZ