Ghanaian Radio and TV Entertainment Shows: When Critics Turn Defenders | Don’t Tell Me Conscience Has Not Been Cheaply Sold

Ghana Newspaper

Ghana Newspapers

 

My recent article titled ‘GHANA: Awarding Mediocrity & Calling It Excellence is the REASON Why We Are Where We Are Today…’ knocked so many Ghanaian Entertainment critics/journalists of their chairs—for the very reason that, most of these critics have sold their conscience to the numerous award organisers for what I called ‘coins.’


Ghandi was not only talking about the ‘valour of conscience’ when he said “there is a higher court than courts of justice and that is the court of conscience. It supercedes all other courts”. He was also pointing out the need to hold one’s conscience intact, untainted by bribes or any manner of purchase—no matter what is being offered.

My article challenged the direction of the many Ghanaian Award schemes—the obvious rewarding of mediocrity instead of excellence. And as usual, I didn’t expect a friendly acceptance or welcome from the many Ghanaian Entertainment critics/journalists who double as board members of these same award schemes I was sending my artilleries their way.

As estimated, I was met with rage on Peace Fm and several other radio stations which have board members as their Entertainment critics, for the simple fact that I tainted where they were earning their money—as if I care.

For instance, on Peace Fm,  Mark Okraku Mantey was extremely furious to the extent that he even failed to properly digest certain paragraphs in my article and since I was not going to give him a free literature lessons, he was allowed to go on with his misfired missile—and once again, all because I criticized one of his banks, just as the others.

Now that I have set forth the havoc my article caused—let me ask this simple question; do most of us understand the concept of ‘conflict of interest’ and the need to hold a priceless conscience at all?

On the many Entertainment radio and TV stations which mostly recycle the same Entertainment critics/journalists as panel members, the response to my article was almost the same—and it was not that I missed a point. But it was that, those who sat on these shows as critics are more of defenders of the scheme I was criticizing.

Any smart person out there does not need to be told that, a critic cannot simultaneously be a defender of a mission—and when conscience are bought, critics swiftly become defenders.

But I do not mostly worry about the smart people because they can easily figure out where the nonsense lies in the dark room. I somewhat worry about those who may not be branded smart and we have a bunch of such people in Ghana, perhaps in the majority—who would struggle to define ‘nonsense’, let alone locate where it lies in a discussion.

Wouldn’t it be appropriate and well placed if the many Entertainment Shows we have in Ghana to define their panel members and their interest on their panels? Since there is no way a board member of an award scheme can effectively and impartially criticise the same award or a shared procedure (the obvious job of a true critic), wouldn’t it be fair to listeners and viewers that such people who have tainted their positions or reputation are excused from discussions on topics they hold interest in?

At best, they should be well defined as defenders of the scheme under investigation or discussion so that listeners are aware of their biased positions. Presenting board members of award schemes as critics or some sort of objective minds when evaluating the same award schemes is pretty unintelligent as it dilutes the conversation. At the end of it, listeners are misled by defenders clothed as critics.

As human beings in search for money, many will sell their integrity and conscience to the highest bidder and even though this sounds dishonest, it’s pretty much the person’s cup of tea. But when such a person whose conscience has been bought portrays himself or herself as neutral and unbiased, that I deem insulting to listeners and viewers—and a complete attack on the notion of integrity.

Everybody is biased in this world but only a few are bold to say it or to even acknowledge it. On GhanaCelebrities.Com, I state clearly that I am biased but I can ‘unbiasedly’ defend my bias and most importantly, my bias is not influenced by money. At least for now, I have not sold my conscience to the many bidders because I value it.

It’s unpardonably insulting if a critic whose conscience has been massaged with some ‘coins’ as a board member of an award scheme fails to disclose this to his or her listeners/viewers—and proceed to launch absurd defence on behalf of the scheme.

For the benefit of the many Ghanaian listeners and viewers of these fast developing Entertainment radio/TV shows, the producers/hosts must define the interest of their panel members in relation to the topics under discussion. If a person holds an interest in a subject under review or discussion, that person must be identified as such—and if possible, the person must excuse him or herself. Alternatively, that person can contribute as a defender and not a critic—because as I mentioned earlier, a person cannot hold two conflicting interest in any enterprise.

I listen to various radio programmes all over the world and this is a basic rule of on-air intelligent conversations. An atheist cannot be brought to defend God when He is under attack—and similarly, a CEO of a company cannot be brought to criticise his company. Even if drunk, he wouldn’t do that because his conscience has been sold to his money interest in the business.

In the sphere of the court, judges with interest in cases are obliged to vacate the bench for the fact that, justice would be compromised. Similarly, interests should be disclosed and where people belong should be made clear to listeners and viewers in any meaning conversation.

It’s hard everywhere in the world but worst in Ghana and as such, most people will continue to trade their conscience and integrity for money fetching positions. After all, conscience and integrity wouldn’t pay the bills.

For me, this is not really the big problem because ‘man’ must eat—but the problem lies in the gross misrepresentation which listeners and viewers are fed daily. Presenting a sheep dressed like a wolf as a wolf goes beyond deceit; it’s cruel to any intelligent discourse.

The catch is this; anytime a critic suddenly becomes a defender in Ghana, know that something happened while you were asleep—most likely, money has exchanged hands and the conscience of the person has been cheaply bought.

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Chris-Vincent Agyapong Febiri is the Founding Editor of GhanaCelebrities.Com , a Film Critic and a Human Rights Advocate; he holds 2 masters degrees in Law; International Human Rights Law (LL.M) and Legal Practice Course (LL.M) from University of Leicester and Nottingham Law School--and also a degree in Law (LL.B) from University of East London. He's a Professional Truth Sayer and he is the author of the popular eBook “Success is a Right, Not A Privilege.” He currently works at Fortwell Solicitors in London--where he uses his legal brains to kick real ass, for the good of clients and humanity. Contact: Vincent@topvincent.com


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