Thursday, September 17, 2009
THE GRAND CONSPIRACY: JOYFM AND ATO KWAMENA DADZIE IN THE KORLE LAGOON.
By Justice Kuts
I have had reason to reconsider Joy 99.7 Fm as the best radio station in Ghana, whose professionalism in modern day journalism is second to none. This position is partly influenced by the reckless disregard by the management of the station for the ethics governing the broadcasting profession. I speak for many 'discerning listeners,' who Joy Fm profess to represent. The educational background of Mr Ato Kwamena Dadzie, his rather nebulous appreciation of issues, his reckless and unsavoury comments and his relentless hobby of destroying hard earned reputation of noble statesmen ( independent of the facts),by using quality airtime from Joy, myjoyonline.com and its apology affiliates- remain a blight on the corporate integrity of your station and also a huge threat to building a quality democratic culture in Ghana.
I have read and listened to several disparaging comments from Ato Kwamena Dadzie about various personalities of high social standing and unblemished profiles achieved over the ages through hardwork, discipline and diligence.
Considering, Ato's profile as a diploma holder from GIJ since 1999 (with all apologies to Diploma Holders), I am amazed at the temerity and effrontery with which he comfortably vilifies anyone he doesn't seem to agree with. His callous verbal onslaught on the President of the Republic of Ghana through to the least person on our social ladder is a great apology to Freedom of Expression and those he works for.
Ato, has over the years developed a bloated ego with the diploma he acquired from GIJ a decade ago and in his usual state of self satisfaction, failed to enrol for a top-up degree programme being run by his alma mater. It is therefore not strange that he is not in tune with the ethics of modern day journalism and broadcasting. The least said about his unethical and vituperative style the better.
As an apostle of democracy and the rule of law, my heart bleeds when actors in the media blatantly ignore civility, professional ethics, dignity, social values, etc. and instead use the advantaged platforms at their disposal to cast insinuation, defame, malign, fuel conflict, propagate vile propaganda, etc. Considering, our social values and the wide range of people who patronise in the works of the actors in the media, I am appalled when I listen to Ato or read his articles.
In Ato's latest article released on September 15th and captioned, “Fire 'em, Mr. President”, he described the President's appointees as “nincompoop” and further accused the President of appointing “airheads” (meaning, empty-headed and unintelligent people). To have generalised all Council of State members, ministers, MCEs, DCEs, IGP, Ambassadors, Speaker of Parliament, various board members, etc. and branding them as “airheads” is something I find appalling and unacceptable. To add insult to injuries, Ato in direct reference to the President of the Republic of Ghana states that, “We don't have time to waste on you and the incompetent ministers in your team. If you had the guts to hire those incompetents, you should have the balls to fire them. Get rid of the incompetent ministers if you really want to take this country forward and deliver the change you promised to Ghanaians”.
Ato's, unsavoury remarks about the President is an insult to all Ghanaians in whose mandate and power he draws his authority. It is only weak minds who believe that verbal attack is the best way of expression. Ato, I think this impunity and verbal attack is very 'Un-Ghanaian' since our society frowns upon that. I believe you can make sense by not necessarily being abusive. I know you neither learnt this from your teacher in Esikado L/A Primary nor GIJ. I don't want to believe that you were brought up like this. Though I can assure you of my prayers for you to change from your incorrigible ways, I believe much of the process of reformation depends on you.
Freedom of expression is not all about having a 'loud mouth' and casting insinuation on public officials. Our right to expression goes with a responsibility and it takes responsible minds to realise it. Ato, though you don't have a son of your own yet, I hope you wouldn't want your unborn children to talk to you the same way you talk to our President and all his officials.
It would be naive for anyone worth the ego of Ato to pretend that previous governments and the current government have done nothing to solve our daily challenges as citizens of a developing nation. The President is not a 'Superman' and I don't think you possibly voted for him because you thought he was a 'Superman'.
He cannot solve all problems within eight months and to remind him that his 4-year tenure would soon elapse is a populist remark which is very unnecessary since the President as well as everyone is aware that the government's renewable mandate lasts for 4 years.
Since you got married some few months ago have you been able to solve all your problems after you married or did you immediately become a father immediately you got married? Haven't your in-laws given you enough time to prove your potency? So why play the ostrich?
Ato, it is not the critic who counts: nor the man who points out how the President stumbled and fumbled, or where he went wrong. The credit belongs to the President who is actually in the arena and inspires his followers. The credit belongs to the President who believes that despite his successes, there are other surmountable challenges ahead of him. Credit goes to the President whose face is marred by dust, sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again till he triumphs.
The fact that an honest President comes to say he has challenges doesn't mean he has failed. Any realist and not an idealist is aware of this. Even our Black Stars team which qualified to the world cup 2012 on a silver platter has challenges. It would be wrong for anyone to say that because we were the first to qualify from Africa then we are the best on the continent or because a country like Egypt might not qualify then it means we are better than them.
Dear reader, government is not a perfect body. We, the citizens are not a perfect people. Yet, we expect that they are called to a perfect mission. The President is not a perfect servant. He is the servant we elected to lead our efforts against all odds. As he develops and serves, be patient: God is not finished with him yet, if those who elected him are not perfect how, on earth, could we claim that he is perfect?
Ato, have you realised that your less-than-thirty minutes newspaper review is all that you are allowed to do from Monday to Friday. Till you add some seriousness and civility to your work, you would forever remain where you are? Please, find it necessary to enrol in GIJ for their top-up programme, since that can possibly help you understand the modern requirements of the 21ST Century journalism and broadcasting. I am sure that having acquired your diploma in Communication Studies ten years ago has made you 'senile'. Don't let the successes of the likes Komla Dumor, Akwasi Sarpong, Matilda Asante, etc. frustrate you. Even if you are frustrated, don't send your frustrations to the studios of Joy Fm since that is making you lose your listeners. Forget about them and go back to the classroom for some more training and you would realise you are better than them.
Ato your remarks and write-ups have the propensity to destroy our social fibre. I can't imagine what runs through the mind of my 10 year old son who listens to you and reads your articles. Your style of communication can be a bad influence on our future leaders. I have found it imperative to write this piece because Ato's work can have a vicious effect on the moral fiber of our children. Knowing the extent to which the comments of a Rwandan journalist plunged Rwanda into years of civil war, I am entreating Ato's advisors to call him to order.
I further wish to draw the attention of JoyFm(i.e if they are not part of a grand conspiracy to destroy government officials and other high profile people in our society) that they have capriciously and whimsically given Ato the platform to launch verbal onslaught on everyone, pass divisive comments and fuel very diabolical and mischievous agenda. This unbecoming character of Joy Fm is outrageous and not good for our fragile democracy.
Considering the pedigree of Joy Fm as a media house and their self professed professional principles, I find it strange that the management of Joy Fm have shown overwhelming support to Ato in his malicious enterprise.
I am tempted to believe that increasingly JoyFm is hiding behind Ato to perpetuate their parochial interest. This deliberate act has received a disappointing endorsement from Kojo Oppong Nkrumah and Evans Mensah who sometimes host the 'Super Morning Show'.
Whenever Ato starts raving and ranting early in the morning, one would hear his colleagues pass peripheral comments and giggle.
Let me inform the management of JOYFM that this unprofessional attitude has resulted in an unnoticed disaffection for the Newspaper Review segment of the Super Morning Show.
For a station which once enjoyed a monopoly in the morning show to descend to the gutters and crumple Komla Dumor's enviable legacy is a matter which calls for nationwide concern.
I believe that the National Media Commission and other authorised bodies must find a way of evaluating media content and punish all actors in the media who broadcast and publish defamatory and unsavoury comments about institutions or personalities without recourse to due diligence and professional standards.
Ghana is bigger than the unwarranted bloated ego of Ato and the scheming of Joy Fm. Ato must realise that pride goes before a fall and the fly which doesn't listen to advice follows the corpse to the grave. The word to the wise is in the South!!!
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