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Some in the private media have not been fair to Mr. Mahama


A visibly angry President John Mahama came out strongly last week against a section of the Ghanaian press he accused of viciously seeking his electoral defeat by obfuscating his messages and distorting his record of achievements.

In laying out his claim, Mr. Mahama was extremely careful not to mention names or point fingers, and he neither wielded a broad brush. Nonetheless, he described his media foes in unflattering terms, calling them a cabal.

He also added that the group, right from the beginning of his administration, has made no effort to hide its disdain and contempt for his policies and all that he stands for.

Their agenda, the president continued, is to ensure that he is eclipsed in the December election by the main opposition party’s presidential candidate.

While the president may have failed to identify his perceived enemies in the media, it is no secret that he was pointedly referring to some in the private realm who have chosen, in his words, to engage in negative reporting and abandoning the journalistic principles of fairness and objectivity.

We all know who they are: let us not pretend —as some are doing—-that the president hasn’t suffered unduly at the hands of some private media organizations whose expressed purpose this election season has been to portray him as a buffoon, an incompetent and corrupt to boot.

It is common knowledge that these media houses are shills for the main opposition party, providing platforms and air time for opposition mouth pieces and collaborators to launch blistering attacks on Mr. Mahama.

Egged on by brash and hostile radio and televisions hosts or presenters, these individuals engage in unadulterated partisanship, constantly putting Mr. Mahama’s policies under the microscope, oftentimes falsely analyzing and predictably savaging them.

Yes, Mr. Mahama does not get fair shake/treatment in the private media and that is a fact we cannot push under the mat. And, efforts by some to move the conversation away from what Mr. Mahama was projecting are just exercises in futility.

When reporters of some private radio and television stations elect to do one-sided investigative stories on a sitting president—without as much as giving him the opportunity to defend himself — ostensibly to flesh out the truth, how then can it be denied that there is no double standard being applied to Mr. Mahama?

And the argument that a ruling party has government media organizations at its beck and call is simplistic. Our press has been described by international observers as one of the most vibrant on the African continent because of its stubborn willingness to confront official malfeasance and wrongdoing without qualms.

This is an incredible and laudable accolade that should be cherished by all. So, imagine what will be done to this image if suddenly government media houses began shamelessly towing the government’s line without questions?

The Daily Graphic, Ghanaian Times, GBC radio and television stations are not in the pocket of the ruling NDC and that ought to be recognized. They may be government owned agencies, but they are fiercely independent and that is abundantly reflected in their broadcasts and editorials.

Given the opposition’s penchant for crying wolf, so imagine for a second the ruckus, the unrelenting loud noise that certainly would have been created if the agencies aforementioned were under the thumb of the NDC.

Let us get real here folks: Mr. Mahama’s reaction to what he perceives as slanted press coverage of his policies and achievements was not the gasp of an angry president, and certainly he was not consumed by petty grudges as some like Sidney Casely Hayford will want to paint it: instead, it should be viewed as a long overdue response to a biased private press.









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