Sports journalists writes and reports on amateur and professional sports. As a sports journalist myself, I know you can presume a variety of job duties such as reporting game statistics, interviewing coaches, players and running commentaries on games as well. You can equally work in a variety of media outlets including Radio, Television, Print and the new media [Social Media].
Such a noble profession which most of us craved in our youthful days has now become a subject of radical because some Sports journalists in Ghana today have become political stewards seeking to run their private businesses through Sport thereby polluting and destroying the values and reputation of Sports in Ghana.
The likes of Christopher Opoku and Aminu Zylla of blessed memory (May their souls rest in prefect peace), Kwabena Yeboah and Owusu Bempah have made meaningful contributions to the Sports fraternity in the country which we can all attest to. They exhibited the highest level of professionalism in their career as Sports Journalist.
According to the Ghana statistical service, the average literacy rate in the country stands at 58% which means that 48% of the Ghanaian public are illiterates and they rely on the Sports Journalists as a reference point and believes in whatever he communicates on the various media platforms available. We are the major source of information and educators to a lot of people who love Sports and desire to know more about it. No wonder a cross section of the Ghanaian public subscribe to our opinions as fact whenever there is an issue. For that matter, our opinions and submissions must be based on fact and not thought.
After Anas Aremayaw Anas premiered his Number 12 Expose, the attitude, posture and comments of most Sports Journalist in the country during the first two months turned dark light on Sports in Ghana.
The popular song in town then was “Government should dissolve the Ghana Football Association (GFA)” which the larger Ghana community both home and abroad fell for.
FIFA later served the country a letter and stated the consequences of the dissolution in plain language after the government took steps to dissolve GFA.
Notable among the repercussions were; Ghana would be banned from all FIFA organized competitions including AFCON tourneys, FIFA World Cup’s and couple of others.
One thing I have observed is that, our hate for someone affects our sense of judgment on issues most times, which is very wrong for us as journalist. It is bad to criticize characters because we hate them, let’s criticize institutions instead of attacking personalities and do so constructively.
I watched the spokesperson of the Normalization Committee, Dan Kwaku Yeboah on facebook attacking colleague sports journalist who enjoyed from the AFCON 2019 Budget to stop criticizing it because they enjoyed some of the money, DON’T BE SURPRISED that is where we have gotten to.
“What is painful is that those who benefited from the booty have turned around to criticize the budget,” he told Peace FM
“They (journalists) went and enjoyed and have made a U-turn to criticize the budget. When we were criticizing the budget in the past, we did not take part in the sharing of the money.
“We didn’t want our name to be associated with it. But if you went and chopped some of the money, you must shut up!
“You were part of those who chopped the money, and then you made a sudden U-turn to criticize the budget. It is hypocrisy.
“If others are talking, you also get the nerve to talk after enjoying the booty. What kind of Kweku Ananse story is that?
“I am referring to some of the journalists and football administrators.
We must understand our duty is to educate the general public and not to insult, thinking that will help as execute our agenda.
It is sad how Sports Journalist of my generation takes delight in insulting because of their hate for people who hold certain positions. You can educate to suit your agenda, only if you read wide.
Our game will continue falling if the current Sports Journalists fail to educate but rather continue the insult because of our hate for certain people who hold public offices.
For this reason, Sports Journalists in this country of which I am one of them must ensure that we stick to the truth and facts as we tell them untwisted irrespective of who it addresses just to safeguard the Sporting industry and our chosen career as Sports Journalist.
By Francis Hema, follow on Twitter @FrancisHema5