Otumfuo Osei Tutu II
The words of our African monarchs are laden with wisdom. Otumfuo Osei Tutu II could not have put his words more succinctly when he charged the media to protect the unity and stability of the country.
We should always consider the unity of the country as fragile and therefore, protected in all that we do especially in the dissemination of information.
Considering what other countries in our sub-region are enduring in terms of restiveness, we must consider ourselves lucky.
This luck must be managed through responsible conduct on the part of the media, who as agenda setters, are looked up to as sources of credible information by the populace.
The media have in recent times been put on the spot for taking glaring sides in their reportage and in so doing compromising the unity of the country.
Taking the peace and stability we are enjoying for granted and therefore, toying with it the way some do, can trigger worrying consequences.
Our country as the only one we have should be spared the irresponsible management of the word by some media practitioners and others who get carried away by the massive freedom provided by especially social media.
Otumfuo Osei Tutu II’s reminder that the freedom of expression is not absolute is a good counsel we should be guided by as we ply our occupation of reporting on developments and editorializing.
In all that we write, the unity and cohesion of the country should be paramount. It is important that we probe the integrity of the messages we disseminate lest we disturb the peace of the country.
The Media Capacity Enhancement Programme held in Kumasi during which the King spoke should be used to alter the course of negative journalism which sometimes rears its head and threatens our democracy.
Is what we are disseminating the truth? Will it enhance national cohesion and unity among other factors? It is only when we interrogate our messages and commentaries responsibly shall we contribute meaningfully to national cohesion and development.
It is abominable and absurd the running down of others without due cause by persons who find themselves in the inky fraternity. Such abuse of the pen should not be encouraged and those who do so must be named and shamed.
Without a nation there would be no politics. Strife especially one driven by disunity in a country can throw everything into disarray. Under such a situation there would be no media to operate as the strife-stricken country would have disintegrated. History is replete with examples for us to learn from.
It is not too late to change our ways and to be responsible towards our only country, Ghana, and to our compatriots who belong to the diverse ethnic groups.
Embarking upon campaigns of calumny and malice in our quest for electoral leverage is harmful and does not inure to the interest of peaceful co-existence a critical factor in our quest for national cohesion and stability.