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Media Sins Vs Diplomacy

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Two wrongs, they say, do not make a right. And if this adage had been too equivocal for anyone to decipher, it couldn’t have been made any clearer by last week’s attempt by two Members of Parliament to douse the ‘flames’ ignited by the recent arrests of some Nigerians on kidnap-related crimes.

In the heat of the simmering tension in the country, and its implications on Ghana-Nigeria relations, the bi-partisan team that spoke about the development called on the Ghanaian media to put an end to “reportages that have the tendency of triggering xenophobic attacks on Nigerians in the country”.

According to the MPs, recent media reportage on Nigerians were not palatable, more so when the two nations had become friendlier that ever before.

While the Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, and MP for Nsawam-Adoagyiri, Frank Annor-Dompreh, posited that the media should hold individuals who commit crime responsible (and refrain from revealing their nationalities), his colleague MP for North Tongu, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, cautioned the media against what he called ‘the fallacy of hasty generalization’.

Hon. Ablakwa went on: “This is what leads to triggers that cause what we all do not want to see. We do not want Ghana-Nigeria relations to be jeorpardised. We do not want the start of any xenophobic attacks no matter where it will start from, whether from Ghana or from Nigeria”.

Unfortunately, the two gentlemen failed to tell the good people of Ghana what the ‘sins’ of the media were, if any, regarding the arrests, to have warranted the caution they gave.

THE NEW PUBLISHER is still struggling with the import of the media encounters by the two politicians, and wonders if they had not jumped the gun.

In the view of the paper, mentioning the nationality of a police suspect, or a wanted person, is never the same as criminalizing the nationality of that suspect. Apart from that, never had it been reported that ALL Nigerians are responsible for ALL crimes committed in Ghana.

If anything at all, we think it was the two MPs that had sought into ‘generalize’ the media in this regard.

If, per chance, any media organization had made allusions (or reportage) that sought to put all Nigerians in one bracket, let them say so.

Much as they are concerned about the overall reputation of the country (particularly in relation to xenophobia), we think the image of the country will be worse of, the moment the media is alleged to be condoning hate crime.

While we may not be the mouthpiece of the entire media in Ghana, we owe it a duty to object, if we feel we are all being painted with the same brush.

Over the years, we have reported on certain unpalatable activities of some Chinese immigrants and Fulani Herdsmen in this country, WITHOUT ANY CAUTION from any quarter, and we wonder what has suddenly changed. We think Annor-Dompreh and Okudzeto Ablakwa (Hons) must come clear.

Is this not a matter of gagging the media on the altar of diplomacy?

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