SOURCE: LENNART DODOO CELL: 0886 33 40 65 EMAIL: LENNARTDO
There is a growing phenomenon in Liberia that is forcing the media to
feed the public with rubbish. We in the media know the right people to
speak on certain issues, but we are sometimes forced to feed your ears,
eyes and mind with rubbish.
The answer is simple. There is a culture of silence in place in our republic. Togba will hastily insult, vilify, demonize anyone with dissenting views or tag them as working for opposing political party. So many experts do not speak, no matter how hard we try to convince them.
Just imagine, a renowned businessman, decides to give his candid opinion on the state of the country’s economy and gives suggestions to have it fixed for the ultimate good of the people, the next thing you will hear from some government actors is “Mr. X should rather focus on his video clubs or scratch cards.” or “Mr. X is getting mentally deranged so he doesn’t understand what he is talking about.”
We go back to these same political spin doctors, who have monopolized the airwaves and even the newspapers. Sometimes, for obvious reasons they will not put the right person in the line of fire. They will give you someone who has never heard about the law of demand and supply to debate on the economy.
Sometimes we journalists know we are about to feed our audience with rubbish. We know putting such a person on air will undermine the integrity of the station.
But do we have a choice?
We ignore them and they accuse us of being antagonists, we entertain them and outsiders will say we’ve become a propaganda tool for government and the so called politicians.
Some public office holders feel they are too good to talk to the local media. They have their own description and perception about the local media, so they refuse to talk or comment. Sometimes they rather abuse or insult us. In this case, we are left with no option but to go ahead with the raw material we have – rubbish or not. It is pathetic how politics has crowded their intelligence from their national life and someone needs to do something about it. So?
We feed you with rubbish. Stop complaining. Stop blaming us. The culture of silence which has erupted in another form as a result of political tagging and hasty insults from politicians and government actors has placed us in this situation.
This is unfortunate and must not be allowed to foster, if we are to ensure sanity on the airwaves and in public discourse. The phenomenon is creating a new culture of silence, a culture that has limited the nation’s freedom of speech and expression to a few individuals in politics. Whether an issue is about the economy, national security or agriculture, it is the politicians we hear speaking. And it is sometimes irritating listening to people who know next to nothing, apart from their exceptional ability to weave politics into every fabric of national life. If not checked, such practice would stunt the growth of our fragile democracy.
For now, we have to either fight it or live with it.
And if you really want to know who is responsible for this, take the mirror. Wipe the surface very clean and look into it. Who do you see?