Journalism has been in practice in our part of the world long before Ghana attained independence some 61 years ago, but at no time did we find it necessary to critique the ‘modus operandi’ of journalists until recently.
Though the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) and the Ghana Media Commission (GMC) have occasionally tried to draw the attention of practitioners and media houses to the ethics of the profession, there is little to show for it in this regard, probably because they and largely done on the blind side of the public.
And regarding the tracking of the methodology of a journalist’s information-gathering, one thing that makes it rather murky is when that same journalist is neck-deep in other activities that often cross the path of mainstream journalism practice.
In one vein, Anas Aremeyaw Anas, for instance, is an investigative journalist and co-editor of the Crusading Guide newspaper in Ghana. He is reputed to have won several awards for unmasking criminals, many of whom are rich and powerful.
However, his latest piece, dubbed: ‘# 12…When Greed And Corruption Become The Norm’, which is ostensibly aimed at naming, shaming and jailing corrupt people in the Ghanaian football industry, has generated a lot of heat, with even the ‘Almighty BBC’ calling him ‘the controversial African journalist’.
But in all this, the other side of Anas, which strangely seems to have evaded the probing lenses of many commentators, is that he also owns a private investigation firm, Tiger Eye PI, which investigates cases (on contract though) for both individuals and corporate organisations.
This is where the heartbeat of controversy about the works of Anas actually lies.
In the video, several people talked about ‘entrapment’ and how he ‘creates’ his stories, instead of unveiling existing/hidden ones.
Yes, creating stories is unacceptable in journalism practice. The unfortunate thing here, however, is that GJA and the Media Commission, have absolutely no control over the activities of Tiger Eye PI.
Therefore, the multi-million dollar question to ask is: Did he undertake the ‘Nyantakyi Project’ as a journalist or as a private investigator?
THE PUBLISHER is of the view that, this is the critical area we need to look into and the questing we need to be asking as a people.
The paper thinks that cramming the two statuses of Anas, when it comes to analysing his works, will not help anybody.
And until a clear distinction is made about him, all his painstaking-efforts will continue to be shrouded in controversy, no matter how explosive they may be.
Being a journalist today and a private investigator tomorrow may not be the best. Come out clear, Mr. Anas Aremeyaw Anas.