Unprofessional Journalism: Paul’s Day of Shame
It is an undeniable fact that the Ghanaian media space is highly-biased towards political parties and other interests. However, it is true that some media houses are very fair and report the issues exactly the way they are; a reputation they have built over the years. Among the media houses in Ghana with such credible reputations is Metro TV.
Good Evening Ghana is a current affair programme on Metro TV. It is lauded and recommended by most Ghanaians especially those within the urban class. The programme is also believed to be one of the few programmes viewed by foreigners, diplomats and other top dignitaries in Ghana. However, many viewers have criticized the host of the programme Paul Adom-Otchere for turning the programme into something else lately.
With no respect to viewers from different religious backgrounds, Paul since January 2016 has turned the current affair programme into a non-denominational church service where miracles and prophetic declarations dominate. Like movie scenes, well-rehearsed for shoots, the actors often did not wait for the director to say ‘action’ before the actors began taking their lines. Prophesies and all forms of declarations are made with great convictions and a desire to impose them on the viewers.
Special publicity posters designed only for prophets
Another poster for a prophet
What is troubling however is the significance that Paul, the host of Good Evening attaches to the evening show anytime a Prophet is coming on as a guest. Sometimes, such meetings with prophets are announced several weeks before the event while viewers would often have to wait till a Tuesday or Thursday night to find out what is on Paul’s menu when a prophet is not coming on the show.
On Thursday the 1st of November, 2016, many Ghanaians were disappointed with Paul Adom-Otchere for dragging the programme in the gutters of bias and cheap political propaganda aimed at projecting one candidate in the 2016 presidential elections of Ghana by using the name of the Lord.
One prophet Owusu-Bempah who was a guest on Good Evening Ghana programme said so many things that a man of God would be least expected to have said especially on air. The self-acclaimed man of God said so many things that could warrant for his arrest and questioning. Worst of it was that the president of Ghana has blood on his hands and because of that God has already rejected him and chosen candidate Nana Akuffo Addo as the next president. He also said the aftermath of the elections will not be a beautiful one should the Electoral Commission chairperson fail to declare Nana Addo as the winner.
A symbolic Ghanaian personality according to Owusu-Bempah was killed and his blood is in the president’s hands. He also talked about Prophet T.B Joshua as lower in the spirit and that he was the source of T.B Joshua’s prophecies. Speaking in a local dialect, Prophet, Rev. Dr. Owusu-Bempah also accused the chair of the Electoral Commission of planning to rig the upcoming elections for the president. He strongly warned the chairperson of the Electoral Commission before saying that T.B Joshua is in Ghana to spiritually rig the elections for the president, a claim the Nigerian prophet had denied via social media because he nowhere near Ghana and knows nothing about the elections in Ghana.
As an American living in Ghana for the past 3 years, this so-called prophetic declarations were not surprising to me at all. I have seen worse things on Ghanaian media all in the name of the Lord Almighty. However, I expected the host of the programme to ask the so-called Prophet some questions on the subject of Christianity the failure to which made me believe Paul had join the partisan reportage that has bedeviled the Ghanaian media.
Firstly, I expected Paul to question the so-called man of God on the subject of humility as the Bible teaches. The extreme arrogance displayed by Owusu-Bempah was just too yesterday for today’s Christianity. Secondly, does an Omnipotent God need the services of a man of God to carry out the ousting of a president he claimed was already demoted by God? Why didn’t Paul educate the man of God on elections and the fact that they are won at polling stations? Why didn’t he explain to the man that Accra is just a national collation center where only addition of votes are carried out and final results declared?
Why didn’t Paul question the man of God like he did when interviewing President Mahama, Nana Akufo-Addo or Sole Woyinka in the previous episodes? The so-called man of God also said he prophesied that the American election and the two main candidates before they even won their candidacy. Again, Paul did not only succeed in disappointing me again but losing my respect and the media house he represent. According to the Owusu-Bempah, he predicted that the contest was going to be between a man and a woman long ago. Does Paul know that there are two women (Hillary Clinton & Jill Stein) and two men (Donald Trump & Gary Johnson) contesting this year’s American election? Or could it be that Paul is certain about who will win the American elections but needs to make consultations on the Ghanaian election and its outcome? The prophet also mentioned that Hillary was going to win but if she doesn’t take time, Trump might take it from her. I mean how on Earth did he get away with this one without Paul firing a ‘shot’ at him immediately? I believe this Either A or B prophesy is something anyone can do. You need no special skills. So if Hillary should win, then the Prophet will say he predicted that but in case Trump emerges victorious, he will say: I told you if she does not take time, Trump will take it from her. I mean how?
How did Paul fail to corner this so-called prophet guy. It was very clear that Owusu Bempah did not even know the names of the American candidates but only know that the contest is between a man and a woman. He also knows that the woman has an upper hand in the election. A good journalist like Paul was expected to ask Owusu-Bempah, which of the women and the men he was referring to? Then, the world will know what these attention-seeking men of God continue to do and the threat they pose to the peace in Ghana. Paul rather was interested in knowing if God had revealed to the man of God when he would die. Very funny.
It was clear the man of God with a PhD title (DR) who could not communicate in english knew little but want the attention of the world.
Paul sipping his juice on air: A craze of the opposition NPP
The excitement on Paul’s face anytime a prophet comes on the show is unbelievable and his appetite to bring them on a current affairs and a political show to predict the winner of the elections is so unprofessional. One would have thought a person with such repute built through years of journalism will know more about his work and be more critical in asking questions and act ethical in carrying out his professional duties.
Many Ghanaians are beginning to doubt the professionalism and fairness of Paul Adom-Otchere in carrying out his duty as a broadcast journalist. While some people believe Paul will be bringing a popular traditional spiritualist next, others think he might want to bring on a mallam first before bringing two opposing prophets on the winner of the election. What Paul might not know however is that all these people have their powers from a common source and not from the Lord Almighty.
Few months ago, Paul went very tough on the chairperson of the Electoral Commission, Charlotte Osei when the commission announced a re-branding process ahead of the 2016 elections. He continously used the pronoun ‘she’ for the commission indicating his attack on the chairperson as an individual and not the commission as an independent institution made up of people appointed by different governments over the years.
‘Why is she re-branding at this time? Is she unilever, is she metro-tv, or is the electoral commissioner DHL’? Why is she re-branding ahead of the elections? etc he said.
I still feel disappointed in Paul for those comments because I don’t know why he went so personal on this issue. I still don’t know how that re-branding affected Paul and the people he seem to be speaking for. As a host, I thought one is often expected to mediate on issues and present a critical and unbiased conclusions on issues to the viewers? Well, I may be wrong and if I am, I need someone to educate me.
I don’t intend to draw my conclusions on this matter but I expect Paul Adom-Otchere to redeem his image as soon as possible and make amends where necessary. All over among the viewers of Good Evening Ghana, Paul is seen as collaborating with some political parties and working almost openly with them now. Others also likened Paul and his team’s behavior to that of Africans who consult all kinds of gods in order to know the future. SO I ASK: WHY DO PEOPLE WANT TO KNOW ABOUT TOMORROW AT ALL COST? DO THEY KNOW IT’S EVIL IN THE SIGHT OF THE LORD TO DO SO?
The role of the media in the Rwandan genocide should remind media practitioners that they have a responsibility to play in the affairs of a nation. It is for this reason that I think last Tuesday, November 1st 2016 was Paul’s Day of Shame. I don’t intend to make this day popular nor celebrate it every year. Rather, I want it to be a day Paul Adom-Otchere will look back to and direct himself towards a new route.
Proverbs 19:21 Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.
Peace I pray.