The media is considered a key stakeholder in nurturing democratic governance in any society. That is why in most democratic states, their constitutions take a very liberal view of media freedom and the right to free speech. Simply put, some people consider the media as the oxygen of democracy. What it means is that without a free press, democracy would suffocate because of lack of empowerment of the people to defend the ethos of democracy. Beyond the media’s basic roles of providing information, education and entertainment to the people, it has the added responsibility of mobilising support for political parties while being given the needed messages and policies for informed choices at the polls.
What is the free press anyway if it does not serve as the breathing apparatus of democracy? And that is why when confronted with the choice between newspapers and government many years ago, Thomas Jefferson did not hesitate to choose newspapers.
Speaking on the importance of the press to keep governments in check, he concluded that if he had to choose between “a government without newspapers or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter.”
It is for this simple reason why we think all media houses must justify their freedom, its great estate and expose the few saboteurs and fifth columnists who have thrown away the journalistic standards to back John Mahama’s rescue mission.
It is for this reason that media houses such as Media General would look on while some of its journalists have decided not to be professional and ethical in the discharge of their duties.
Having been served with the dictates of the “Riots Act” by the National Media Commission (NMC), Media General has issued an apology to the Vice President.
We are yet to read anything from Power FM about its fake news about Mrs. Samira Bawumia.
The slow approach of the NMC to crack the whip against errant journalists from these media houses gives the impression that truly the Commission is a toothless bulldog.
Also, the NDC has not dissociated itself from the stance of those media houses about Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia and his wife.
Perhaps the NDC is behind them, for after all, those media houses are guard dogs and PR outfits of John Mahama and his party.
Again, we are amazed at the loud silence of the Board of Directors of Media General who can boast some of the finest communication experts, including the owner of a journalism training school and a PR and Advertising firm of international repute.
The ladies and gentlemen on the Media General Board better act swiftly before Captain Smart takes us on the Rwandan way to civil strife.