There are so many reasons why any profession will lose its credibility either temporary or in a permanent state. The onus lies on the personnel who constitute the profession to find a suitable way of making their jobs as credible as possible.
As the media is being touted as the fourth arm of government after the legislature, executive and judiciary in every democratic dispensation, Ghana’s media ought to be revered.
The following are the reasons why Ghana’s media credibility is somewhat in a decline;
Most of the media houses barely do ‘ethical’ broadcasting and would rather engage in sensational broadcasting. Some news anchors from notable stations like Adom FM and Peace FM during their Akan news broadcast for instance are supposed to present the news as it is to their viewers (if it’s live on Facebook)/or listeners, but most add more salt and pepper (or more flavor) to the story suiting their own agenda. The absurd terminologies that these Akan news anchors employ infuriate most listeners who then doubt the credibility of some of these presenters and their stories.
One other thing is political gimmicks to downplay the media. Few media personnel are able to resist the political games to stay relevant. So they are always accused of setting agenda for some political party. And the political class will go to every extent to discredit their work to the public. Consider the likes of investigative journalists like Manasseh Awuni Azure and how he has suffered collateral and intellectual damages from politicians in his line of duty. Now, the main opposition party, National Democratic Congress (NDC)’s communicators have boycotted Peace FM’s ‘Kokrokoo’ and believe that Kwame Sefa Kai is bias or not professional.
Also, the plain affiliations of some media personnel and media outlets towards certain politicians is also a factor. For instance, every Ghanaian knows that Net2TV GH under the KenCity Media is affiliated to the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) because of their Chief Executive Officer’s influence in NPP as the Member of Parliament for Assin Central on NPP’s ticket. With this, journalists like the host of “The Seat” on Net2TV GH, Justice Kweku Annan and Silva Lady of Oman FM will automatically ‘lose credibility’ to NDC sympathizers. The same goes to Mugabe Maase of Power FM and American based Ghanaian journalist, Kevin Taylor of LoudSilence Media (Focus) who will never be credible to NPP sympathizers because they are openly supportive of NDC.
Lastly, the issue of timidity and fear can also be said to be affecting media credibility. To be frank, most journalists are unable to have professional analysis of issues because of fear for their lives. As soon as an issue crops up in Ghana, the journalists are unable to face the fact and go into deeper revelations to help propose or find a redress to the situation. For instance, the murder of Ahmed Suale has really shaken the media circles in Ghana and stricken more fear into the journalists. Even though the murder is under investigations or radar of the Ghana Police Service, circumstances surrounding the death of the ace journalist who was affiliated to Anas Aremeyaw Anas’ Tiger Eye PI has really made journalists somewhat timid in Ghana. With this, they beat about the bush anytime they are doing discussions on affluent persons in Ghana and this makes the intellectual citizens to discredit the journalists for putting fear ahead of their professionalism.