View Full Version : And The Winner Is..... ''Concert And Mediocrity''

9th July 2011, 04:46 PM
By the time you finish reading this article, Michael Essien and Emmanuel Adebayor could be team mates at a top European club. Asamoah Gyan may shock Sunderland with a late transfer request and the GFA could face another hot battle with the men from the castle. In football, success can easily be likened to a beautiful woman. Everybody wants her. But very few can afford the price. Only the ones ready and willing to part ways with what she wants will have her.

Often she may come across as ''too know'' but you still want her. Let me explain. One of the most popular terminologies often used by Ghanaians of all ages is ''too known'' or ''too know''. It simply refers to someone who comes across as over confident, cocky, all knowing and arrogant. Yet if we are to critically analyse this most commonly used expression, we may find that it actually represents outspoken, confident and a no-nonsense attitude.

If you want real ''too know'' people then come to Nigeria. I recently spent a few days in Lagos on a sports business assignment and once again my belief that Nigerians have the most sophisticated, robust and fearless media was reinforced. Fine, you may disagree but show me otherwise and i will quickly make the relevant points available for free. You see, that after working with Africans from the South, North, East and as ell as our classy francophone West African counterparts, i have drawn my conclusions.

It dawned on me that Africa's most populous country and also often regarded as the continent's most corrupt nation has zero tolerance when it comes to nonsense...unlike a certain country called Ghana where everything seems to go in the pot all in the name of embracing different views and widening the local media landscape....even tolerating mediocrity. Did i say tolerating? Excuse me....REWARDING mediocrity!

Look at the outrageous headlines we read on a daily basis and nobody is talking about how to curb this dangerous phenomenon. The poverty of the Ghanaian journalist has rendered him weak,desperate and vulnerable. He may not be a natural born killer but he will write an article that could kill, make unfounded allegations on radio to spark a riot and edit video footage to suit a certain line of reportage.

Ignorance,lies, fear and cowardice have no place in a true journalist's heart. The Ghana Journalists Association what's up? I need direction and i need inspiration but all i get is lukewarm statements and mild threats. If a leader cannot inspire and create a change then there is cause for change to be forced the hard way. I beg o....i am not inciting a revolt or a coup but positive change. Even after i step on your toes, be good enough to call me to order because threats and insults simply will not move some of us. We may have to look at the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) and take a cue. A few months ago, they joined forces with

the Radio, Television, Theatre, and Art Workers’ Union (RATTAWU), to give the federal government a seven-day ultimatum to implement the Enhanced Media Salary Structure or face industrial action. It was a well calculated and strategic move after a statement jointly signed by the secretaries of the two unions, Shuaibu Leman and Henry Odugala respectively. The powerful media groups said they had lost faith in the process of negotiations that were seeking a better deal for qualified media and arts practitioners. The unions directed their members at both federal and state levels to resume their suspended strike if their demands were not met. They had set the tone previously by going on a joint strike in November 2010 to press for the implementation of a new the salary structure.

I will not mention names but if our leaders in Ghana also had half the balls to stand up and fight for the cause of journalists to seek methods to raise standards, who knows maybe i would not resort to writing this article to provoke them. We must provoke a positive change and not just render lip service.

It may not make for pleasant reading but if i am lying then let the powers that be deal with me. From the government,the opposition, educational institutions, religious bodies, law makers and law enforcement. The list is endless but since i am not a politician, let me stick to my stock and profession which is no better off. Next time you attend a press conference or a sports media confab, take a moment to look at and more importantly, listen to the stupid questions some self styled journalists throw at these functions.

At such moments i ask myself in i chose the right profession. Yes we all have our occasional kodak silly moments but for goodness sake in the sports media it is absolutely madness. But why?

Recently, one of Dr.Kwame Nkrumah's legacies hosted the cream of Ghana's media. I am referring to the State Banquet Hall the great leader built in the Ghanaian capital and which honoured local media personalities who had excelled over the previous twelve months on radio and television. It was a colorful event with music and pomp to match and yours truly was also nominated although it was quite clear that there was no way i would pip my boss and deserved winner Kwabena Yeboah.

If you put Kwabena Yeboah and a few other distinguished winners to one side, you would find that there is very little to celebrate and even less to be optimistic about the future of Ghana's media and quality content. To be fair, most of the award recipients were justifiably happy and indeed most deserved the accolades bestowed upon them. Such events should be encouraged and supported for the right reasons.

However, it is high time the Ghanaian media collectively stood up to identify and address the real root causes of falling standards in journalism and how to arrest the trend instead of creating glory out of a sorry situation. Whatever happened to content? Why is professionalism not encouraged and rewarded like we see with the CNN, VOA and BBC Awards? Could it be that those responsible for guiding the flock are themselves lost?

The answer is an emphatic YES! I made the unpardonable mistake of openly criticizing the hierarchy of the Sports Writers Association of Ghana (SWAG) on radio for lack of creative leadership and vision which has rendered the association a laughing stock and a toothless kitten. The response was Ghadafi-like.... anger and denial.

Are we only about Awards? How come we are not competing with the rest of the best and pretending that Ghana media has arrived when we are slacking behind? Why are journalists not able to write, speak and articulate their thoughts into constructive paragraphs for discerning minds?

Where are the media modules and templates for the future Kwaku Sakyi Addo's? Where are the training studios to groom the next Komla Dumor, Gideon Aryeequaye,Tommy Annan Forson, Doreen Andoh?

Slowly but surely it is happening and nobody is talking about it for fear of being torn to pieces on any given radio sports programme hosted by a semi-literate town crier with a panel of farmers turned sports analysts. The print caucus is no better and dominated by lousy undercover failed political analysts cum activists claiming to be factual sports critics. These days, the Ghana sports media has become so poor, so shallow and so full of imposters claiming to be sports journalists that mediocrity has become the new order.

It might be a painful truth to swallow and i expect the usual stone hostile reactions from those on whose heads the cap fits...but who cares as long as the truth is told?

Let me move away from Ghana and the concert in the sports media to take a swipe at one of the world's richest football empires.....yes Chelsea. Long suffering Blues followers continue to see managers in and out of Stamford Bridge like nobody's business. At the last count it was seven managers in eight years - True o...go and check.

Roman Abramovich hopes the fresh appointment of 33-year-old Portuguese Andres Villas-Boas as their new manager will do the trick. Chale but age 33 is some way o and raises a very Africanesque question of age and not surprisingly, its corresponding equivalence with ability and competence.

My learned Nigerian colleague and editor of New African Osasu Obayiuwana summed up the bold appointment recently and i share his view that handing over a star studded team to a young man, a group which even a battle hardened World Cup winner, like Brazil's Felipe Scolari found too hot to handle, and yes, even taking into consideration Villas-Boas' amazing distinction of winning a treble in his very first season managing Porto - the league championship, FA Cup and Europa Cup, his appointment does look like a risky one. Well the new EPL season is not far off.... so soon and very soon we shall see!

Source: Ntiamoah-Mensah, Charles Nimmo