General News of Wednesday, 25 April 2012Source: Kojo Frimpong Barely a week has past since the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA), a media advocacy group, came out with ratings on the performance of media houses and radio presenters in Ghana, seems to be generating mixed reactions with the recent media organization to react being Citi Fm.
Citi Fm was named in the report of the MFWA as one of two stations that has over a period of one week allowed its platform to be used to propagate or incite violence and some other social vices.
In a detailed statement in reaction to the report by the MFWA, Citi Fm questioned the methodological, definition or operational paradigm of the report and also the validation; verification methods used to checkmate the ‘findings’ by the ‘University-trained Monitors.
It said “Whilst we support any attempt to create a more qualitative media and an insults-free political atmosphere, this must be done with the greatest standards of professional integrity and the highest levels of factual accuracy. In respect of CITI FM, the said MFWA Report falls far short of these.”
Below is the full responds from the management of Citi Fm.
CITI FM RESPONDS TO MFWA
A. INTRODUCTION Our attention has been drawn to a certain Report of the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA), monitoring language on Radio Stations. Ordinarily, we would have dismissed it as a visceral effusion lacking the cerebral appraisal of an organization like the MFWA. However, we are constrained to respond for the records.
We wish to state that the said Report, at least in the parts touching, affecting and concerning CITI FM, does not pass muster. The ‘findings’ on CITI FM cannot stand the test of any factual, historical, intellectual and professional scrutiny as we propose to demonstrate, in extenso seriatim.
CITI FM, in its seven (7) years of operation, has come this far by dint of God’s grace, our own exertions and our undiluted values of integrity, honour and unrelenting pursuit of professionalism. Indeed, we have demonstrably lived up to our Mission Statement of ‘building Ghana’s most trusted News Brand, through the consistent delivery of timely, credible and well-packaged news products that are relevant to audiences across the country’.
It is a standard that we have lived up to in the face of the most difficult circumstances, most tempting financial inducements and most extreme of varied political pressures.
B. SPECIFIC CITATIONS OF CITI FM IN MFWA REPORT
Now, to the pointillism of the Report. CITI FM’s first mention comes under the rubric ‘Remarks Calling For Confrontation and Violence’ page 3, where under roman 3 states
• ‘On CITI Breakfast News of April 6, 2012, Alhaji Issa Mohammed Saani of the NDC said “if the Police do not take proper action now, then we can advise ourselves”
• ‘Ato Ahwoi of the NDC on CITI FM’s News Night of April 5, 2012 said ‘ he KT Hammond of the NPP is unpatriotic Ghanaian, sic, and Ghanaians should even hoot at him’
Under ‘Innuendoes’ , ibidem,
• ‘On CITI FM’s Eye Witness News of April 4, Michael Teye Nyaunu, NDC MP for Lower Manya Krobo asked “Should I vote for a goat’?
Under ‘Provocative Remarks’ on page 4, the MFWA’s Report asserts
• ‘On CITI FM’s Eye Witness News of April 4, Michael Teye Nyaunu, NDC MP for Lower Manya Krobo said ‘ There are too many sycophants, hypocrites and outright cowards in the NDC’
These wrong-footed incidents lead the MFWA Report to conclude grandly that ‘With regard to specific programmes and the tone used during such programmes, the CITI Breakfast Show registered threatening, overbearing and swearing tones.’
Shorn of the self-serving and misleading conclusions, the Report is nothing more than an exercise in verbiage and donor self-justification. Now, to the basics:
i. CITI FM does not and has NEVER had in its seven years of operation, any Programme of any description called ‘News Night’. So, we wonder what the Researchers were actually listening to. For, in a Report compiled by “language experts from the University of Ghana, the Ghana Bureau of Languages and a Consultant from the School of Communication Studies’ p.1, para 2 and at pains to tell us that “all monitors have a University degree’ para 3, ibidem, one would have expected a greater attention to detail. Or at least, for such a notorious and trite fact not to escape editorial scrutiny. Can we safely conclude that such a shocking lack of attention permeated the Report in its entirety?
ii. Secondly, a cursory look at the names of people who appeared on our Breakfast Show for the period shows a motley collection of Spokespersons of the EC, Utility Providers and the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission, striking Pharmacists, MTN, UT Bank, Hon. Samia Nkrumah and Dr. Nii Moi Thompson, People living with HIV/AIDS as well as people connected our Easter Orphan Project. A pedestrian listening of the calls-in thereunder give a lie to the offensive assertion that ”… the CITI Breakfast Show recorded more threatening, overbearing, swearing tones’
iii. But more fundamental questions arise and beg to be asked. What is this Report that does not have any methodological, definitional or operational paradigm? What are the specifics of the Validation Instrument? How rigorous is it? What is the margin of error? What tests of corroboration were done? Regressive or Progressive? Qualitative or Quantitative? Etc
iv. The Report being replete with finger-pointing, what verification methods were used to checkmate the ‘findings’ by the ‘University-trained Monitors’ (as if that alone entitles their findings to be ex-cathedra) to avoid fictitious cook-ups and slips as we have demonstrated in the foregoing paragraphs, considering the grave commercial, industry.
v. and image-building implications for named radio stations?
D. CONCLUSION Whilst we support any attempt to create a more qualitative media and an insults-free political atmosphere, this must be done with the greatest standards of professional integrity and the highest levels of factual accuracy.
In respect of CITI FM, the said MFWA Report falls far short of these. We have not come this far, nor won our gilded image and many industry and individual awards by chance. At the risk of sounding vain or narcissistic, the following are some of our Awards in our short existence.
GJA Award for Democracy and Peace-Building, 2011, 15th GJA Awards,
Top Talk/Interactive Show of the Year, 2007 at the BBC Africa Radio Awards in Nairobi, Kenya and
New Radio Station of the Year, BBC Africa Radio Awards, West Africa
The ‘findings’ do not represent us, our work or our audiences and are a palpable falsehood, misleading in its specifics and conclusions on us. In Philosophy, if the Premise is wrong, unless there is a falsification of the Equation along the way, the Conclusion must of necessity be false. The MFWA must come again!
Samuel Atta-Mensah Managing Director **