Ghana’s media space, like every living entity, has seen some form of progression considering happenings in the media for the last decade. While people refer to the internet for information, 2/3 of people still have a good amount of trust for the traditional media and take things said from that space as the final point of confirmation. Also like a growing entity, there has been lows and highs in the media space and all through it, there has been proper navigation so the media space is not corrupted enough not to lose its power as the 4th arm of government.
Normally, happenings on social media are influenced by issues on traditional media, however, the table has changed, for traffic and ratings, people in the traditional media space, either radio, TV or newspapers, are adapting strategies by social media bloggers to drive traffic for numbers and businesses. This is why some presenters will ask anything or do anything to drive traffic and ears to their shows at the detriment of their subject matter. Media work has become so cheap in Ghana, now people who are supposed to do the work would rather say or ask something either sensitive or inane to make the trends. Typically is the case between Accra FM presenter Nana Romeo and the Wendy Shay saga.
Interviews with artists who voluntarily come on entertainment shows are not interrogations for a crime committed. This is where the line should have been drawn when Wendy shay refused to answer the question! Artists are entitled to their decision to either answer or skip a question asked them at interviews depending on their goal for that interview. Coercing the artist or guest with a piece of supposed evidence to make them implicate themselves is odious!
Now to matters of women or female artists constantly being asked by presenters who are sleeping with them or about their sex life is preposterous and a clear indication of the cultural or generational problem of some men not respecting women in the African or precisely Ghanaian societies. Though some have made an exponential advancement on that colloquial matter, others are still attached to the primitive mentality that women are only meant for the kitchen and bed which is why some of them can’t celebrate the successes of women without dragging in their sexuality. Women can make it without sleeping with men for it! Lydia Forson, Shirley Frimpong Manson, Becca, Efya, Yvonne Nelson, Vim Lady, Delay, Nana Ama MC Brown, and countless names of hard-working, successful women in Ghana are a typical example to rebut such ludicrous positions.
Also, artists or people, in general, are not entitled under no circumstances to divulge to the world matters of their private life. It’s not compulsory for them to tell the world whom they are shagging! This problem of entitlement is not only perpetrated by some media men but has been extended to Ghanaians and most social media users. People expect so much from these stars because they think they deserve to know, but truthfully, they don’t owe anybody any explanations on what they think they don’t want to share.
Further, it’s about time artists or stars are treated as they are, stars! and not set up for failure. Asking Wendy Shay to confirm she is having an affair with her manager else you would show evidence you have is a clear form of the ambush which is clearly aimed at damaging the artist, her career, or her reputation.
Finally, two consenting adults are allowed to have a relationship with whomever they want without the world probing into their affairs and that includes stars.
If people in the media do not sit up or raise the bar to help change the narrative, both media and all industries connected to the media are at the precipice of a shambolic end.
Story By Matilda Mensah Marfo