I think ‘Bishop’ Daniel Obinim may be guilty of a lot of things. I realized last week that he was 33, and I assume that part of his silly behavior is largely because of his youth exuberance and his total ignorance of so many things. I am not a fan of this ‘man of
God’. I have seen him on TV a few times but I did not watch because I thought there was a genuine man of God preaching the word of God. I watched because the journalistic part of me wanted to see exactly what this dude does, how he does it, and why he does it. It has become pretty obvious these days that men are using religion to enrich themselves at the expense of preaching the Word. This in itself might be a topic for another discussion sometime. But I do not side with Obinim supposedly maiming a kid and claiming to have made the kid mum until the kid’s mum confessed to whatever crimes she may have committed. I found it childish when he dared other pastors and spiritualists to a contest at the stadium. I even think he is thrilled at the publicity he has chalked over the past week. It seems making the front-page in several papers including the good old Daily Graphic seems to give him a certain ‘kick’. Certainly driving all the way from Ashalley Botwe to Adabraka like Rambo just to shut people up from speaking about you is just as stupid as it was unnecessary.
But my concern today does not lie with the ‘Bishop’. It lies with the posture of the many FM stations sprawled across the country but particularly in Accra and Kumasi. It seems to me that the absence of a broadcasting law and an ineffective and nearly toothless National Media Commission and National Communication Authority has left a huge gap in monitoring our media. Vernacular –speaking stations are particularly guilty. You only need to listen to their news to have an understanding of what I mean. A friend on Facebook said “I thought sometime back concerns were raised concerning the manner in which some of these Twi radio stations report their news items. Specific references were given to rape, defilement or abuse cases. Gosh! You should hear how they say it. It sounds so bad;very humiliating for the victims if you ask me”. Then there is the zilch effort so-called ‘broadcast journalists’ make into researching issues before hitting the air. Folks on radio think their duty is to broadcast what they hear for the ‘benefit of their listeners’. But they forget that they have a responsibility to ensure that what they are feeding their audience is well researched and does not infringe on the rights of others. Broadcast journalists should know that having the microphone in front of you does not give you the right to run people down and to feed any garbage they create to the public.
The indiscipline on our airwaves emanating from so-called broadcast journalists must stop!
A friend said that “the media is gradually becoming a tool for terrorizing citizens. The inability and /or sheer refusal to engage qualified personnel to moderate programs has contributed to the excesses we are being served with on daily basis. A worst culprit is a political talk show host whose appreciation of the English language is very suspect but sits on air and makes fun of almost anybody and everybody. MEDIA OWNERS MUST HELP GHANA!” I agree. It seems having the requisite qualification and training has now being traded with ‘who can say the most outrageous of things in Twi to get us the most controversy’. I can imagine how I would have felt I was Obinim and tuned into a radio station and heard people speak about me the way the guys at HOT FM did; and to cap it, they do not even see the need to call me. See, the thing is any good news or talk show producer who makes the effort to call a party who name may have popped up in a talk show or news production may even realize he has no story to even take on air. But what we see these days is that radio stations will straight ahead carry a story on air just because some party has offered it without any due diligence and cross-checking basic facts. I do not think it is the case of wanting to get the news first and fast, I think it is sheer laziness and sometimes these untrained journalists simply not knowing what their job entail and what their responsibilities are. There are several ways to clean up the system. One, media owners should have the sense to hire qualified personnel. Two, media owners should offer training opportunities to their staff. Three, the NMC and NCA should start working. Four, why is it taking so long to have broadcasting law in Ghana? Four, may be the public should start ignoring irresponsible radio stations.
That is what I think; my piece of my mind