News – Accra Daily Mail
Who makes the news?
Is it the government, the opposition or the press?
Posted: Monday, August 04, 2003 – Ade Sawyerr
Ade Sawyerr takes on the government, the opposition and has some good words for the media
The role of the media in an emerging democracy has been topical in recent months. The debates have been interesting. Some newspaper editors have been accused of making the headlines in the news with exaggerations, under-researched stories and blatant gossip items.
When these unsubstantiated stories and stories without solid foundation have concerned government politicians and officials, the press has been accused of mischief and not looking after the national interest.
The moralist argument has been about the need for the press to be responsible and professional in the way they carry out their duties.
Some purists have gone as far as to say that the press must not only be accredited, but that a professional standard, achieved only after long years of training, must be set, before a professional journalist must be permitted to ply their trade.
One would normally expect the press to check and recheck a story and even offer the subject of “interesting news” an opportunity for rebuttal before publication, but the press would not really be able to check every story, and minor exaggerations such as my being described as a “CPP stalwart in London”, which I am not, will continue especially if no malice is imputed.