Last Friday, the Minister of Education, Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum, addressed the media on a number of issues currently going on in the education sector, including interventions instituted by the government to transform it.
The minister used the occasion to appeal to the media to guard against allowing themselves to be used for proxy wars and rather support the effort to transform the country’s educational sector.
He said it was unfortunate that the media rather focused on few negatives in the sector at the expense of the massive transformation currently taking place in various divisions of the sector.
It is apparent Dr Adutwum had in mind recent media reports that he had presented a fictitious report to the World Bank (WB) for a $1.2-million funding for the Ghana Accountability for Learning Outcomes Project (GALOP), a claim the World Bank has dismissed but certain media houses and platforms keep resurrecting.
The Ghanaian Times is worried that some reporters give others cause to condemn their reports as if they know better than the members of the fourth estate of the realm.
But why won’t they do so when they feel vilified and defamed and that they have suffered character assassination?
The role of the media does not include anything vicious but that which encourages individuals and the larger society to do more of what can bring progress into the lives of both individuals and the society so that the aggregate or the result will be the development of the country.
That is not to say that the media should not expose rot in the society; it must, but it should do so with evidence.
The use of the word proxy in the appeal by Dr Adutwum implies that some reporters kowtow to the ungodly desires of some faceless people to launch needless attacks on others.
If that is really the issue, then reporters could be seen as very gullible persons indeed and that comes as a huge insult against the journalism profession itself.
However, the Ghanaian Times knows that cannot be the case, though it agrees that as a human institution, the profession, as it stands now with its membership open to even some untrained writers and communicators, some bad lots can infiltrate it ranks and do the undesirable.
Every journalist worth his salt knows that his profession’s first obligation is to the truth, which is ascertained through the assembling and verifying the facts so that when the news is put in the public domain, even the erring party would see it fair and reliable.
Whoever and whatever motivate some reporters to do the bidding of some people to the hurt of others without their conscience being pricked is left to the public to discuss.
However, as a newspaper and a media outlet, for that matter, which values the role of the media in making a case the improvement of lives and the development of the country, the Ghanaian Times would like to say that the Minister of Education has made a point that should prompt journalists to avoid giving anyone, not even their fellows, to question their competence and integrity.