That the Daily Guide Newspaper is fast gaining notoriety in the act of dishing out puerile allegations and cheap diatribe against perceived or imagined ‘enemies’ of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) is no longer news.
The paper has earned for itself the unenviable title of the best and worse private newspaper in this country. I will personally applaud them for their display of stupidity in the face of calls from sensible members of the society to do the right thing for once.
Think of any newspaper that is notable for publishing garbage, careless and unwarranted stories in our contemporary times, the name Daily Guide readily comes to mind.
The paper’s latest blunder of a story or what could be termed a gaffe on the part of the editorial team of the paper was, after publishing the picture of the late P.V Obeng on his death bed in their Monday May 19 edition, accompanying the story of his sudden demise on Saturday May 17, and their attention was drawn to it, they conveniently took on everybody, including institutions by telling them to literally go to hell.
Could this be a joke or idiocy? This is simply a case of bad journalism taken to an absurd level. How much does it cost to say sorry?
To err is human but to forgive is divine, is a phrase we hear every day. It is a reminder of the fallibility of every human being. To say sorry today means, you are wiser today than you were yesterday.
Every human soul on earth will taste death, but unfortunately how we will go is not known to anybody except the creator, the omnipotent God. So instead of mocking the mortal remains of P.V Obeng, we should all rather reflect on what our purpose on earth is and how our end will be like?
This is a man who has it all, he has seen and enjoyed the best of what life could offer, I am sure if he was alive, and was asked when was the last time, he boarded a taxi, he probably would not remembered, but at last, when the time came for him to depart from the earth, he left in a taxi, he did not pay for, despite having more money than he could spend in a hundredth life time, that is if reincarnation really do exist.
We live in a cosmopolitan society, where information is not hard to come by, we are also aware of the kind of life threatening ailments that owners of the Daily Guide are suffering from, in fact Mr Obeng died well, maybe for them their end will be worse than his. God forbid though.
We do not wish anybody any unfortunate ending, but what we sow is what we will reap. If elders, who are themselves politicians and leading lights of the society could sit unconcerned, whiles their paper perpetuate this act of self righteousness in the face of good counsel from other members of the society, who have enjoyed their buffoonery for long, it means they got it wrong this time.
The National Media Commission (NMC) and the Ghana Journalist Association (GJA), who have allowed the Daily Guide, have their way all these years, have themselves woken up from their self induced coma. All they did was call their bluff.
They also received a dose of what the paper has served peace-loving citizens of the country, who have suffered the results of their bad journalism. They have taken sensationalism to a new and unprecedented height.
The fact that there are no rules or laws, no licensing, no regulations, no self-policing plus, since journalism can be exploitative there has to be alertness on the side of public in watching activities of the press.
The Daily Guide has been pampered for far too long and so they had the audacity and the bravado to call the bluff of people, who made them the number one private newspaper in Ghana.
A simple course in journalism would have told them that their capital base is the trust that the public put upon them and their media houses. Businesspeople place advertisement in the paper, because they believe that the public rate them high. Without the public trust, any news media or journalist is a hard sell.
The paper hardly addresses attention-seeking issues, instead they dissipates their energy and resources on pedestrian and narrow-minded issues.
Their actions are largely counter-productive. Being the leading private newspaper in the country, it is incumbent that the paper makes tireless efforts at feeding the masses with healthy information and not chokes them up with falsehood and unbridled news that do not engender unity and progress.
In whose interest or what did the paper seek to achieve by publishing the picture of Mr, Obeng, who tirelessly served this country so faithfully till his untimely demise?
We could excuse innocent members of the public for circulating the picture via social media platforms, but not a paper as big as the Daily Guide, with editorial right and discretion.
It beats our imagination to fathom how they held an editorial meeting and actually decided that the picture of a true son of the country, who died under such bizarre circumstances, should be published.
To think that the editorial team comprises of grown men, makes us wonder what was in their head. Sounding verbose with the use of big words in their useless editorial was the lowest ebb of modern day journalism.
What in God’s name do they stand to gain in this madness denigrating the media profession?
The purpose of media freedom was so that we do not always look over our shoulders for engaging in senseless reportage. We are a force to reckon with because the people we serve and that are our readers expect us to play the watch dog role faithfully.
We are to serve as the voice of the voiceless, as things stand now the likes of Daily Guide have failed woefully in that regard.
They should just apologize and save all of us the embarrassment.
I will conclude by asking Ghanaians to be at alert in watching the media with their eyes wide open.
If we cannot change our political leaders, we should try to change our press people who might in a domino effect, change our leaders.