President of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA), Roland Affail Monney, has said that the country’s press culture is yearning for more in-depth and analytical financial journalism that can help citizens sift through bamboozling rhetoric from politicians in matters of the economy.
Speaking at a Private Newspapers Publishers Association of Ghana (PRIPNPAG) workshop at Dodowa in the Eastern Region over the weekend, he said vacuum in this area leaves Ghanaians at the mercy of point-scoring by politicians in matters of the economy.
“Of course, our economic and financial journalists cannot be more Catholic than the Pope or more knowledgeable than the BOG Governor. Our expectations, however, are that they will assert their professional competence and independence to help counter the misleading narratives, outright lies and blatant spin which are rampant in the media space. Indeed, the ordinary Ghanaian is often confused, for instance, by arguments and counter-arguments by Hon Kwarteng and Adongo. With the exception of a tiny few, the credible voice of many professional journalists is lost in controversial or contentious issues. We must reverse the trend.”
Mr. Affail Monney also pointed out that journalism is not always a thankful vocation and that the evidence is in the fact that even though financial journalism played a role in the recent better credit rating for Ghana, politicians have arrogated all the glory to themselves.
“We note with pride that Ghana’s economic profile was recently upgraded from stable to positive. The pesky tendency is for the political class and Economic Management Team to milk the glory. We don’t begrudge them. But this does not obscure the fact that journalists played an indispensable role in this achievement.
“The lesson or logic here is that if media practitioners, most especially, financial and economic journalists do more quality stories and compelling programmes , the economy will respond positively. We, therefore, expect an endless stream of authoritative, in-depth , analytical stories and commentaries on economic and financial issues instead of simply reproducing figures churned out by technocrats or merely amplifying submissions emanating from politicians.”
Quoting American editor, Joseph Pulitzer’s controversial statement that, “ journalists are educated, not borne,” Mr. Affail Monney underscored the importance of building the capacity of journalists, and therefore welcomed PRINPAG’s training workshop for members.
The workshop was organized by PRINPAG to help build the capacity of members in monetary policy.