CHRIS-VINCENT Writes: 'NPP Boycotts Neat Fm and Okay Fm’ | the Misconception & What A Big Wrong Move

Nana Akufo Addo-Flagbearer of the NPP
Nana Akufo Addo-Flagbearer of the NPP

Ghana’s largest and strongest opposition party-the New Patriotic Party has boycotted two radio shows on Neat Fm and Okay Fm, the two stations are owned by the Despite Group of Companies.
Though the political party in a press statement has indicated that two shows hosted by Kwame Nkrumah Tikesie (on Neat Fm) and Adakabre Frimpong Manso (on Okay Fm) are the subjects of their boycott, it’s widely being reported as though the NPP has boycotted the entire Neat Fm and Okay Fm.
For instance, Starrfmonline carried the headline; ‘NPP severs ties with “unethical” Okay and Neat FM’ with the opening paragraph; “Ghana’s main opposition party the New Patriotic Party (NPP) has served notice it will not have any dealings with two local radio stations – Okay and Neat FM – belonging to the Despite Group of Companies.”
Joy Fm also threw out the headline; “NPP boycotts Okay and Neat FM” and stated that “The opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) has officially announced its decision to boycott all programs of two radio stations operating on the license of the Despite Group. The station, Okay and Neat FM, according to a statement signed by Deputy Communication Director, Anthony Abayifaa Karbo “consistently discuss all matters of the NPP with a negative slant.”
CitiFm also wrote; ‘NPP boycotts Okay, Neat FM’—and the press release the NPP sent out seems to have been captioned ‘NPP BOYCOTTS OKAY and NEAT FM’ suggesting that the political party indeed has boycotted the two stations in entirety and not just the cited radio shows.
If indeed, the NPP’s statement is to convey and the party intends to boycott the two strong radio stations because of the alleged mischief of just two presenters or shows, then the political party needs to re-evaluate it decision on the back of tolerance and the long effect on their own political power bid.
The press release, signed by the party’s Deputy Director of Communications- Anthony Abayifaa Karbo states that;

The New Patriotic Party (NPP) wishes to inform its members, supporters, and sympathisers that the Party has decided to boycott all political programmes on Okay FM and Neat FM, with immediate effect.
Programs on the two stations which are hosted by Kwame Nkrumah Tikesie and Adakabre Frimpong Manso respectively have in recent months developed a format to consistently discuss all matters of the NPP with a negative slant.
These programs have also concentrated on encouraging submissions which denigrate and insult the Party and its Flagbearer.
Several letters, phone calls and face to face discussions between us and other management members, the producers and host of the programmes, to desist from this unethical practice of journalism have gone unheeded.
The mission and vision of the stations currently seem to be to destroy the NPP.
The NPP is a firm believer and practitioner of multi-party democracy, with freedom of expression as its cornerstone, but the Party also believes in the exercise of this freedom with responsibility, and in this case, professionalism.
Party executives, communications officers and members have been advised to desist from speaking or patronizing the stations political programs with immediate effect.

An intelligent reading of the statement would suggest that the NPP’s main problems are with the two named political radio shows—but these two radio stations run other political and quasi-political talk shows and so extending a boycott to capture the two stations in full, when you could have just fetched out the particular shows seem a little far-fetched and dangerous.
Blanket bans are always not the way forward in any progressive conversation.
And if the NPP intends only to boycott just the two shows, then their press statement did not clearly state so—and the media reports on the back of the release have tainted the credibility of the whole two radio stations.
For instance, Starr Fm’s headline somewhat called the two stations ‘unethical’ and the other headlines in conjunction with the accompanying stories implant the same standard in the head of a reasonable reader. Yet, it seems just the two mentioned shows merit this indictment.
It’s an election year and the NPP needs every platform; I would argue that half a loaf is better than none—and also add that, being under-represented is far better than not being represented at all.
The absence of the NPP on these two radio shows or station would not in any way cause the truncation of their operations—in fact, this means the bias they are crying about will continue without any resistance from them.
Of course I understand and appreciate the plight on the NPP, but I think we should all draw a clever approach to dealing with such things from how the United States deal with bias—in this case hate speech.
The U.S has a peculiar notion that the most effective way of combating hate speech is not through restriction, suppression or making it illegal but by promoting tolerance, truthful and counter-intelligent speech.
The NPP could simply have kept pressing on with the truth in the face of the accused bias; any attempt to boycott, suppress or restrict hate speech, bias or propaganda doesn’t effectively work—except when you face it with truth and counter intelligent speech.
Also, I can boldly say without being contemptuous that the NPP does not seem to understand the game they are involved in. Media houses all over the world are politically bias and reporters or journalists lead this campaign.
And if you doubt this, just take a trip alongside the coast of Fox News and see if you wouldn’t be served a sweet Donald Trump cupcake.


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