AFTER being in the industry for about 25 years, Celebrated broadcaster, Kwami Sefa Kayi popularly known as Chairman General, has bemoaned the loss of professionalism and maturity in the media.
According to him, if he had the power to change anything in the media, it would be those two elements because they should be the voices that speak to any media personality.
“Professionalism will teach you that these are the ethics of the job, this is how it should be done and maturity has to do with common sense, attitude, emotional intelligence, your experience etc.
“So that if you know, for example, that you are born, bred and live in a certain environment that doesn’t allow certain things, you don’t insult because you have a microphone or a pen.
“Now everything is about insults, throwing shades at people etc. I wasn’t brought up like that, my being, my constitution doesn’t allow me to subscribe to that kind of media work.
“I think we owe it to our viewers and listeners to be professional, we do not develop the people we put on radio and television, and we have hurt ourselves in that regard. I don’t think we have been able to match up to development in that sense,” he told Graphic Showbiz in a recent interview.
He added that “I cannot insult somebody who is old, professionally achieved, someone seeking political office that may be younger than me, I am not wired that way.
“I don’t know how I will change it because the Internet is large and unregulated or maybe we lost our values long ago so lots of us think that it is the new cool to disrespect people. Where is that one from? Maybe, I’m of a different generation so I don’t get it.
“Why would anyone so disagree with you on a subject matter that they sit on radio or television or have access to the Internet and insult your person, sometimes, they even use a disability you have or where you come from or the woman you married or the tribe.
“Why have we descended into that? I think the elderly people who should know better even encourage it. We have children, let’s sanitise our media space a bit, when we do this, we are telling them that, that is the way to go.”
Kwami Sefa Kayi also admonished media practitioners to see to their own personal development apart from what their employers might invest in them.
“Presenters on both radio and television should develop, read and train themselves. One thing I also realise is that people are looking at what is coming in, in terms of revenue rather than what is going out in terms of content.
“Over the years, there has been a lot of change, exciting change in our profession, however, we have not changed that much. Primarily, I work on radio and sometimes television so I know,” he stated.
He gave some suggestions on what could be done to improve the sector. “I hope that something will be done about it. I don’t know if it is through the Media Commission, Ghana Journalists Association or through the Ghana Independent Broadcasters Association, they should find training programmes for us.
“We can’t continue to put people on radio and television simply because of their looks, I don’t think that it should be so.
“I may sound a bit old school but I have been doing this for the past 25 years, and those days when we were working at GBC, I was a guest so it meant I could be thrown in and out at any time because there were structures to follow, benchmarks to meet so naturally, you felt you had to do more, do better.
“But I guess when we opened the space, which was good, it created opportunities, employment, talent, creativity, excitement, varieties it did not go side by side with the training of the personnel so the real ethics of media work has suffered. Sometimes because of hypocrisy and dishonesty among us, we are afraid to point it out.”
Touching on what has kept him on top all these years he said, “I would say it is the Grace of God, and on the human side, it is passion, dedication, discipline, devotion. This is what I know what to do, I can’t farm, I cannot sing. I have always wanted to be a journalist.”