Welcome to Ghana Pundit: The Home of Politics and Intelligent Analysis


Grab the widget  Tech Dreams

Insist on Your Right to Education

Uneducated citizenry is like a pitch any game can be played on it. Illiteracy is what has given the politicians in Ghana the chance to fool so many people for so a long a time.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

What are the watchdogs doing?

It is gratifying to read that there are many Ghanaians who feel disgusted yet powerless to control the rising tide of moral decadence sweeping across the country.

In the Friday, September 4, 2009, issue of the Daily Graphic, Captain William Amanhyia asked whether we have a media censoring board in the country?

This was because it seemed some media houses were helping to increase the polarisation of our society and encouraging the breakdown of moral standards.

The country has instituted a media overseer in the name of the National Media Commission (NMC). The NMC was set up on July 7, 1993 by an act of parliament (Act. 449) pursuant to chapter 12 of the 1992 constitution to hold the balance between the need for an unfettered press and the requirement to ensure a speedy redress of editorial – led injury to reputation, protect the media and ensure an enduring high professional standard.

The mission statement of the NMC is to promote free, independent and responsible media so as to sustain democracy and national development.

The NMC therefore has declared its commitment towards the following:

  • Maintaining its independence from political influence.
  • Ensuring that the state-owned media are independent from governmental control.
  • Raising professional standards among media practitioners and ensuring fairness to the public.
  • Protecting journalists from harassment and penalties arising out of their editorial opinions or content.
  • Encouraging the media to play their role of holding people in authority accountable to the people and protecting individual rights.
  • Recruiting and retaining skilled, committed and highly motivated staff.
  • Collaborating with sister governance institutions.

In spite of the lofty objectives of the NMC of protecting the media and ensuring that they assist in driving our development agenda, the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana, the Rt. Rev. Dr Yaw Frimpong-Manso, has also bemoaned the rate of indiscipline, criminality and moral decadence in the country despite the proliferation of churches.

These are worrying times for the nation’s development. As it will be pointed out shortly in this discourse, the evidence would show that the pervasive and corruptible advertising messages and warp films shown on our TV screens, all in the name of entertainment are to blame for the heartbreaking observation made by the Moderator of the Presbyterian Church.

Where do we think the youth involved in occultism, sniffing of cocaine, sakawa and armed robberies on motor-bikes got their inspiration from?

They have their role models in both the print and electronic media and will therefore imitate the crooked lifestyles of these role/opinion leaders.

Our TV screens are awashed with foreign/local films mesmerising us with the powers of the occult, violence, sharp business practices, infidelity, prostitution, suggestive dance forms and simulated sex acts, etc.

Yes, violence and sex sell but they are impacting negatively on the moral fibre of our value system as a people. Any wonder, our values are now changing.

Everyday, we are confronted with vans blaring profane music followed by an army of street hawkers running helter-skelter accosting motorists to buy the new arrival of yet another block-buster foreign movie with little educational or spiritual value.

It is interesting to note an observation made by a renowned psychologist by name Dicther, on how great nations are created.
According to Dicther, we can tell how well a nation has developed by the story books read to the children, and I daresay that the films we allow them to watch.

We used to read books on Kweku Ananse (noted for his scheming or deceitful ways) and we can now see for ourselves, the crafty Ananses that we have created since independence and how they have looted the state coffers.

Now, we’re trying so hard, unknowingly, of course, to destroy our society by allowing ourselves and, especially the children to watch films with dubious content which is naturally leading them to their socially unacceptable behaviour. Spare a thought for what would happen when they take over from us the affairs of the nation?

The print media is no exception, especially the gutter press. They are covered with pornographic materials of bosomy half naked ladies with unprintable banner headlines, salacious news items, sensational and divisive politically motivated sentiments.

We also come across large and explicit images of bestiality, corpses riddled with bullets, decapitated bodies, severed heads, all displayed on large glossy prints at the market places.

Sadly, curious school children can be seen at such crowded newsstands. What a crying shame!
It seems that we all appear indifferent to such socially disruptive practices all in the hallowed name of safeguarding our new found democracy and the freedom of the press.

The warning signals are there for all to see. We are in a free fall and if we allow a few miscreants of questionable backgrounds or orientation to set the agenda for us, our cohesion would surely disintegrate.

Even in the most developed countries such situations are never tolerated, and the most irritating aspect of all of this is that, the respectable personalities behind the circulation of such papers are well educated and have had the benefit of visiting or studying in the developed countries where they would have observed that, there is a restriction on what is acceptable as wholesome for publication and viewing by the public.

The underlying motive behind all our social problems is the love of money; the syndrome of keeping up with the Joneses’ or the need for social recognition at any cost. Vanity, vanity, all is vanity.

Our radio stations are no exception in their dissemination of profanity. They have developed an uncanny notoriety of playing vulgar rap music with word-salad lyrics so nonsensical that you wonder whether the artist is a schizophrenic.

Even in the developed countries, who are noted for their permissiveness, such music would not be given airtime, because, they glorify and encourage social vices such as the taking of marijuana, fornication, violence and so on. What is going on?

On the question of indiscipline, the former vice president, Alhaji Aliu Mahama, went on a national crusade to attempt to inculcate in us the need to be alive to our civic responsibilities, but sadly enough, his message fell on the rocks just like the parable of the sower, in the bible.

It seems to me that we’re a people who appear only to understand the language of force before we do the right things.

Indiscipline pastors in their attempt to increase the membership of their churches are tolerating all sorts of malevolent members who bring about confusion thereby causing disaffection amongst the flock.

These pastors are not leading us on the path of righteousness. They are mercenary and stumbling us by their behaviour and false teachings.

They are selfish and prepared to disturb the peace and quiet of the neighbourhood in the wee hours of the morning with their noisy all night prayers and expecting us to wake up to join them.

How do we attract tourists into the country in the midst of all this commotion? We are desperately appealing to all decent stakeholders, trade union, civil society and members of parliament to stand up and be counted and chart for us a new and morally decent direction.

Do not blame some Muslims states for using Sharia law as a means of controlling the excesses which the human mind can conceive.

The oft-repeated pronouncements that Ghanaians are God-fearing rings hollow in the face of all the vices which even the Rt. Rev. Dr. Frimpong-Manso of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana has identified.

If we seriously want the very best for this country we must behave responsibly and accept some curtailment of some of our unacceptable attitudes, thoughts, feelings, and desires.

Even Britain the mother of democracy has found it right and proper to ban all alcohol advertisements on their TVs and France has legislated the banning of passionate kissing in public ostensibly in view of the swine flu pandemic.

They react sensibly to destructive situations before they take hold on their public Even though, these developed countries have all their medical and social structures in place they have found it wise to protect the public against what they feel are not in their long term best interest.

We must take a cue from the foresightedness of these developed countries if we are truly aspiring to their level of development. Based on the evidence so far advanced, it seems most well-meaning Ghanaians would clearly see that the NMC is not fully meeting one of its salient objectives i.e. that of raising professional standards among some media practitioners.

The provisions of Article 162 and 163 of our constitution empowers the media commission to sanction any recalcitrant media house that acts against public morality.

Source: Daily Graphic

No comments:

Ghana Pundit Headline News

E-mail subscription

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Pan Africa News

Graphic Ghana


Peacefm Online - News with a vision

The Times - World News

The Times - Africa News

Pambazuka News :Emerging powers in Africa Watch

AfricaNews - RSS News

The Zimbabwe Telegraph

BBC News | Africa | World Edition

Modern Ghana

My Blog List