Veteran Journalist and Chief Executive Officer of Channel Two Communications, David Ampofo, has said that the canker of corruption remains in Ghana because journalists who are to serve as the ‘watch dog’ of society, bringing to bare the wrongful happenings in governance are doing very little to keep the country’s leaders on their toes.
Speaking at the maiden edition of the Chevening Speaker Series, Mr. Ampofo indicated that the media’s role as the Fourth Realm of the Estate makes it responsible for ensuring accountability in governance and that role when compromised, corruption sets in.
“I think journalists have a special role to play in bringing progress to and enhancing the welfare of society, this we will do primarily as the Fourth Estate of the pillar of democracy, ensuring that those with power do not abuse it and use it for the benefit of all people.
That is why holding government accountable is considered a primary responsibility, it is not possible to do this anyway if you are in bed with government.
…..Really, we can’t afford to undermine our credibility, when left unchecked, people in authority, they will do as they please, with time, corruption sets in big time”
Mr. Ampofo argues that the journalist should be able to analyse issues and make constructive criticisms such that if people in government are engaged in corruption or wrongful practices, they are affected and consequently brought to book.
“Government has to appreciate the value of constructive criticism…..the government is not supposed to be happy with the media, it doesn’t work like that. As soon as government and media are very happy and they are all friendly and all that, we are in trouble”.
According to him, the impact of corruption on the country’s development should be the utmost priority of a journalist such that despite the pressure from society and politicians, they remain credible and fight against corruption and the likes.
“The problem with corruption is that it is taking public money for private gain but it is so damaging for a society, first of all limited resources are abused and after a while it becomes endemic; if you are not part of it, you won’t survive.
It becomes difficult because you need to eat, you need to get by. You get to a situation in society where it is much difficult to do what is wrong than to do what is right and then you are in trouble, it’s called systemic failure”.
The Chevening Speaker Series is the first of several others to be organized subsequently by the Chevening Alumni Association in Ghana.
The series seeks to bring young professionals in diverse fields to learn from experts who will be tackling various subjects relevant to development in the country.
The maiden edition of the series which came off on Thursday October 26, focused on “Holding Government accountable; the role of the media”
Arranged By: CordovoGH