African media houses need to collaborate to tell the African story or else the world will miss the whole truth, the African Truth.
Graphic Communications Group Limited (GCGL) in pursuing its vision: “To be a dominant multimedia group in West Africa, telling the African Story” and living by its mission: “To empower our audience and customers everywhere with authentic information and excellent products through visionary leadership and strong brands.”
This will be done through telling the African story by the coverage of the news that is relevant to our audience and target market,including the global market.
As my friend at Multi TV, Oyiakehyire Nana Ansah Kwao IV, aptly puts it, “Until the lions have their own historians, the tales of hunting will always glorify the hunter.” Thus Graphic needs to step up its work as the storytellers of Africa. Its journalists need to tell the African Truth. For too long the West have told and continue to tell their truth and we need to correct that.
Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire boundary dispute
So when it came to the court case involving two African brothers, Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire, we believed this was a case that Ghana’s unbiased truth had to be told. Yet, it is sad that instead of the two African states sitting and discussing their family disagreement and finding ways of resolving it and harnessing the oil and gas resources together as a family, we have had to find ourselves at the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS). Well since this is where we find ourselves as a country, it was our job to ensure the unbiased truth, which was the Ghana Truth, was told.
So we have had our ace court reporter, the GJA Journalist of the Year 2014, Mabel Aku Baneseh, in the court in Hamburg covering the proceedings for us.
It was good that we were there as the court gave its ruling on the interim case. The court unanimously dismissed Cote d’Ivoire’s call for the suspension of activities on the disputed maritime boundary until the final determination of their disagreement over the boundary – it held that work could go on uninterrupted.
See more at: Tribunal gives Ghana the nod to continue oil production: TEN Project to go on
Some media houses and international wires got it wrong. myjoyonline was one of them, and they issued an apology.
It has come to our notice that an earlier story headlined, "Ghana loses injunction case in maritime dispute," published on Saturday afternoon was not entirely accurate.
The story missed some of the nuanced points contained in the ruling by the international tribunal on the maritime dispute between Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire which is being adjudicated on by the Tribunal.
Like Reuters, Yahoo.com and other major international online portals whose initial reports on the ruling were inaccurate, Myjoyonline.com inadvertently misconstrued one of the reliefs granted by the Tribunal to the Ivorians to mean Ghana had lost.
“We have since taken steps to amend the story with a new headline: Maritime dispute: International Tribunal gives compromised ruling to Ghana, Cote d'Ivoire.
We, therefore, wish to apologise for the error and any embarrassment the story may have caused.
Thank you,” said myjoyonline.
For myjoyonline who had depended on the otherwise credible newswire Reuters and Yahoo, one can forgive them. But one would ask what the interest of those big media houses is? But be that as the case may, they are the hunters in the tale of hunting. So we should not begrudge them but try to correct our wrongs and take our destiny into our own hands. It is not time to play the victim, it will not help us.
Where is the Pan African News Agency (PANA)? We as African Media owners have to build our capacities and also collaborate. It is important that we tell Africa’s story ourselves. Why should we depend on the West to tell the story of our individual countries? He who pays the tsagbeko dzagunor (the master drummer, of Tsagbeko, an Anlo social dance) will determine the beat.
It is expensive but it is critical that we pool our resources to be able to carry out this charge that we have to keep. Media leaders like myself need to be innovative and increase the resources that are available to us. That is why the collaboration is critical. We need businesses in Africa to support the media to carry out this job. It is in this vein that we thank GNPC for sponsoring our trip to cover the ITLOS case.
To ensure that we maintain the independence of the media as enshrined in the 1992 Constitution, I will not call on governments to support us directly. But rather it is time that an independent Media Support Fund, controlled by the independent and constitutional body, the National Media Commission (NMC) was set up. This can be used to fund such endeavours that are critical for our national development.
I will call on the citizenry also to support such projects by patronising our newspapers as it is the sale of newspapers and adverts that are the sources of revenue that GCGL depends on to fund its activities; we are state-owned but not subvented. As of the time of writing this piece, my team was in Togo covering the Togolese elections. We were also in Nigeria during their elections.
We need to do more of these things. It is our charge to keep and we do not expect any applause for doing our job. All we need is the support of stakeholders to carry out this mandate. The greatest responsibility lies with me, the Servant-In-Chief at Graphic to marshal my team to do more, so that the tale of hunting will favour us too, the Africans.
Source: Daily Graphic
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