Citi fm’s host of eye witness news, Umaru Sanda has stated that journalists are in the business of reporting and not respecting and should therefore be seen as such.
Commenting on the Mrs. Cecilia Dapaah, minister of Sanitation and an intern from Multimedia issue, Mr. Sanda said “Politicians like Cecilia Dapaah need to know that Journalists are not in the business of respecting. We’re in the business of reporting” and that if she needs respect, she has to become a queen mother of her village.
Sanitation minister Cecilia Dapaah has told off a Multimedia intern who wanted to interview her emphasising, her request for an interview is disrespectful because she is an intern.
‘Who gave you the permission to call me to speak to me directly like that?’ she sternly told Rahinatu Abdul Bach who is also a student of the Ghana Institute of Journalism.
‘You don’t respect…please go off’ she spoke in Twi before dropping the line. The incident took place on July 12, 2019 when Rahinatu Abdul Bach had been directed by Adom FM editor Samuel Dowuona.
The intern wanted to get the ministry’s reaction to reports, persons caught littering are ordered to pick up the litter or sweep streets.
The Adom FM editor later spoke to the Sanitation minister over the incident. She asked that the radio station shows respect to her office by not sending interns to interview the minister.
However, in a Facebook post, Mr. Sanda said Mrs. Dapaah “needs to be told that she’s occupying a political office.”
“If she wants people bowing and pouring blood from slain white sheep before talking to her, she should go contest to be Queen mother in her village and she’ll get that much desired respect.” Mr. Sanda said.
Mr. Sanda added that “once a journalist calls you and introduces themselves as calling from a media house, they are speaking on behalf of the organisation and you need to accord them all the respect they deserve. And by the way, when you’re called from a media house, you’re automatically on record. The person didn’t call you to chit chat and whatever you say in that recording is used as evidence should you deny later.”
Read Umaru Sanda’s full post below
Often, when I interview politicians on live radio and they’re acting rude and arrogant, some listeners send me messages and some even call to demand I cut them. I don’t.
In my head, I will be saying, “allow him/her to make a fool of themselves and show what they really are”.
If you’ve listened to my show, you’d remember some of these encounters. Politicians like Cecilia Dapaah need to know that Journalists are not in the business of respecting. We’re in the business of reporting. She needs to be told that she’s occupying a political office. If she wants people bowing and pouring blood from slain white sheep before talking to her, she should go contest to be Queen mother in her village and she’ll get that much desired respect.
She also needs to know, that once a journalist calls you and introduces themselves as calling from a media house, they are speaking on behalf of the organisation and you need to accord them all the respect they deserve. And by the way, when you’re called from a media house, you’re automatically on record. The person didn’t call you to chit chat and whatever you say in that recording is used as evidence should you deny later. That’s for her supporters asking why she was recorded.
Having said that, I think the Multimedia group should have released the full conversation from the beginning of the phone call. What I heard was a recording from the middle of a conversation. Let’s hear the intern’s salutation and approach to the conversation. Only then, can we get the fuller picture because I don’t think the Minister’s ears can detect the voice of an Intern over the phone. Perhaps, she may have sounded clueless and lost and that may have exposed her to the Minister. In that case, her boss ought to correct her, rather than rushing to publish what sounds to me like an incomplete story. What if in the unpublished part of the conversation we are not privy to, our dear intern said on the phone: “Good afternoon Mr Adah (who is actually the former sector Minister) … As the Minister for Sanitation, we want to bla bla…”? Clearly, the Minister would know she’s dealing with a novice and an ignoramus. That could naturally annoy her.
If you’ve ever done interviews, you’d know some of the tough interviewees in Ghana who must be approached with knowledgeable caution. There are some people (Dr. Tony Aidoo, Dr. Dr. Nyaho Nyaho Tamaklo, General Mosquito, Dr Kwesi Anin, etc) who can prove to be hell for an unprepared interviewer.
I don’t know what may have transpired in the beginning of their conversation but clearly, something may have aroused the Minister’s suspicion and her subsequent outburst.
Like I said in my post when multimedia published a similar encounter with Hannah Tetteh when she refused to grant them an interview some years back, “It’s a competitive media landscape so don’t expect manna from heaven. Hanna Tetteh is not the first Minister or resource person to deny Joy Fm an interview and she won’t be the last. I’m afraid their website will be filled only with failed interviews if they plan to publish same anytime it happens.”
Now I feel vindicated that another Minister has turned them down, albeit under different circumstances.
My point? That ageist Minister isn’t the only rude politician but she’s the one whose issue has come public. Even senior journalists and producers get some of these things from newsmakers.
For now, she should be ashamed for speaking to the young lady the way she did and that apology of an apology issued by her PR unit which further stresses why she should not have been called by the intern should be shredded.
She should have known the young lady was speaking on behalf of Ghanaians and she should have accepted it like that. After all, this intern’s taxes pays for her mobile phone credit. But the young lady should have also approached her armed with the right journalistic tools. That point from the Minister about interns is pathetic. #IamAnIntern