Who makes the news?

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.

Continue reading “Who makes the news?”

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The challenge of democracy – Can Obama deliver on his promise to Africa?

The challenge of democracy – Can Obama deliver on his promise to Africa?

Ade Sawyerr © London July 2009
On Friday 10th July 2009 and Saturday 11th July 2009, the whole world had its eyes trained on Ghana. Everyone wanted to hear what this son of Africa who had become leader of the whole world was going to say to help solve some of the chronic problems facing the continent.
Obama exceeded all my expectations and gave a speech that only he could give; he had an excellent grasp of the issues and it was clear that although he was critical of our African leaders, there was an implied promise that he would help to make things better. He also excelled in trying to go beyond the leaders to talk to the youth.
This was clearly a speech that had been written for the leaders as well as for the masses but in the event, we are told that weather conditions did not permit him to address the masses, though some believe that it was more for security considerations; so he had to ask the leaders to take the message to the youth. I was disappointed in the choice of the venue. I had expected that what I still call the Black Star Square should have been used so that there would have been more opportunity for the youth to hear him speak. The lighting was poor and the video feed was atrocious, Ghana could have spent a little bit more money to have got that right. This was an occasion when we should have been truly in the spotlight so to speak, but we failed.
This is the same country that could spend money to buy 250 cars to celebrate 50th anniversary of our independence and yet could not invest in getting the whole world to listen to the clear message of promise from Obama.