What I am going to talk to you about is the truth — the unalloyed truth which is obvious to discerning Ghanaians and hidden from others. I know some people will not accept it or will probably come at me.
Knowing that when affiliation clouds a person’s sense of reasoning objectivity is thrown to the dogs, it is not of any interest to me, to try and persuade anyone to make sense out of this because it will certainly be of benefit to whoever carefully evaluates it.
I have been churning out articles since Adam’s time and throughout my career I’ve worked from the guiding belief that honesty is everything reason I’ve always maintained that I will cheerfully marry a prostitute than a self righteous chorister.
With that at the back of my mind I’m much concerned with the kind of contents I watch on the television.
You might have watched Paul Adom-Otchere over the years on his flagship ‘Good Evening Ghana’ programme on Metro TV berating politicians, civil services, his colleague journalists and others of all walks of life for utterly different reasons.
On the editorial segment of his show, he incessantly share his two cents on topical issues mostly, political he finds vital to merit his judgments. He has carved a niche for himself as one of the nation’s firebrand media practitioners.
His show often comes under scrutiny and also raises another point of contention which has been mentioned several times for lacking positive accuracy and peddling falsehoods.
For the about two decades Paul Adom Otchere has been on our screens many have wondered how on earth one could trash the ethics of journalism and still claims professionalism.
Which begs the question: Is Paul Adom-Otchere a real McCoy or mercenary?
For the purpose of fair trial I’m taking you through some of his controversial editorials which seized the trending spots both on social media and in the traditional media.
I vividly recall during one of his shows he launched scathing attacks at investigate journalist Manasseh Azure Awuni in relation to his publications on the Jospong Group of Companies, owned by Mr Joseph Siaw Agyepong.
Following a series of documentaries by Manasseh on Jospong the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) cautioned the media to avoid trying local business people in the media.
Adom-Otchere wholly backed the GJA and put his colleague journalist on a blast.
Mr Azure in a Facebook post questioned Paul Adom Otchere’s affiliation with the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) and expressed concern why he was sharing a statement by the GJA on corruption which was deemed was issued in reference to Azure’s work.
But Manasseh’s post infuriated the anger of Adom-Otchere who speaking on his Good Evening Ghana show questioned the quality of reportage from Awuni in relation to the Jospong recent stories and cited many instances in which some media houses had set themselves up for legal suits with some of their reports.
He therefore advised Azure to revise his notes and also take a cue from Plato and Aristotle to avoid exposing his ‘cerebral weakness’ in his reportage.
Mr Adom Otchere in what he described as an “Editorial in defence of the GJA Press Statement on corruption”, also disagreed with the posture of civil society groups on corruption that the timing of the GJA statement was “curious.”
He went ahead to state that the Executive Chairman of the Jospong Group of Companies, Mr Joseph Siaw Agyepong, was an asset to Ghana rather than a liability.
Mr Adom Otchere said he decided to associate himself with Mr Agyepong, owner of more than 40 companies including waste management firm Zoomlion, because, in “my small reading of economics, it is not politicians who build a country, it is entrepreneurs who build a country and when you have entrepreneurs, the politicians are supposed to support them.
I also vividly recall how Adom-Otchere took Multimedia Group Limited (MGL) to the cleaners for airing a documentary dubbed ‘Militia In The Heart Of the Nation’, which sought to shine a light on supposed vigilantism at the former seat of government (The Castle).
The documentary brought about unrest and the National Media Commission sat to investigate the findings in it.
During its ruling the NMC which most of its members are government appointees referred to the JoyNews’ documentary as misleading, sensational and inaccurate.
In a statement, the NMC said “the investigation had not been consistent in following the ethical standards defined by the Ghana Journalists Association code of ethics, particularly guidelines 23 which states that a journalist ensures that photographs and multimedia content adequately reflect an event and do not highlight an incidence out of context.
“This resulted from the fact that whereas the respondent used a photo from a BBC report on an attack on the Nigerian senate to promote the documentary online, they failed to relate it appropriately.”
Additional flaws identified by the Commission with the documentary included;
“The inclusion of shots from the Ayawaso West Wuogon violence and attack on the Ashanti Regional Security Coordinator were at variance with the activities of the D-Eye Group as captured at the Castle. The Commission concluded that there was no predisposition to violence in the documentary. Therefore, the association of the D-Eye Group with the Ayawaso West Wuogon Violence and the BBC story from Nigeria, were sensational.”
The MGL accepted the ruling but categorically stated that it did not err in its reportage.
Adom-Otchere responding to the matter unloaded on JoyNews journalists for toeing what he calls a political line by justifying and standing by their works after the NMC ruled the ‘Militia In The Heart Of the Nation’ documentary as ‘misleading and sensational’ He also described the action as crass, disingenuous and ‘serial caller journalism’.
Again, Paul Adom-Otchere suffered credibility challenges when he unashamedly lied on prime time radio. Adom-Otchere appeared on Starr Chat hosted by Bola Ray and was asked to choose who he considered the best morning show host between Bernard Avle (Citi FM), Kojo Yankson (Joy FM) and Robert Nii Arday Clegg (Starr FM).
Paul could not bring himself to say who he felt was the best among the three. He mentioned the fact that he helped set Bernard’s morning show career up at Citi FM and so it was difficult for him. Then on Clegg he said they had been friends for long and so it would be unfair to the others for him to mention him as the best. In his effort to emphasise the extent of their friendship however, he committed the error that will come to bite him hard in the bum: he claimed to have been helped by Clegg when he wasn’t available to write an Interim Assessment (IA) and the former had written it for him
Clegg was peeved by Adom-Otchere’s pronouncement and called him on his show the next morning to apologize for lying in broad daylight.
Lastly, last Thursday, the host of Good Evening Ghana went ballistic and decided to hold no punches as he pummeled Dr Zanetor Agyeman-Rawlings for alleging the Covid-19 food distribution to Kayayei and others within her constituency were shared on party lines.
Dr Zanetor Agyeman-Rawlings had issued a statement Thursday responding to the Gender and Social Protection Minister, Cynthia Mamle Morrison’s comments about the distribution of food for the vulnerable, some of whom are in the Klottey-Korley constituency.
She pointed it out that there has been some discrimination in the distribution of food within her constituency. Such reports had been widely reported in the media and on social media.
She cited a GhanaWeb report whereby a lady was denied food because she could not produce an NPP card to buttress her argument.
In her statement, Dr Agyeman-Rawlings explained that the MP for Ablekuma South, Dr Oko Vanderpuije, had been compelled under similar circumstances to also go public about how food intended for the poor was being distributed in NPP branded vehicles under the direct supervision of the NPP candidate for that constituency.
In responding to the statement of Dr Zanetor Agyeman-Rawlings, Adom-Otchere said that she, Zanetor, should have learnt something basic from her colleague MP Dr Oko Vanderpuije, who she herself said had called the minister before addressing the media on the matter.
Adom-Otchere added that if Dr Zanetor Agyeman-Rawlings had read through her prepared statement and reviewed it before issuing it, she would have behaved in a manner worthy of a parliamentarian.
“Oko Vanderpuije spoke to the minister before he spoke to the press, did you do any such thing in your Klottey-Korley constituency?” the TV broadcaster quizzed.
“Are you learning something; that as an honourable member of parliament, before you speak to the press, you must confront the allegation with the authority…you confront the allegation because you have position…you have power, you have an influence…you are an elected member of parliament, you ought to be listened to by the authorities,” Adom-Otchere said.
The worst part of the Klottey-Korley MP’s statement to the media, for Adom-Otchere, was where the MP, in her statement referenced social media as evidence for the basis of public statement over the distribution of food in the areas under lockdown.
“Honourable Member of Parliament, ex-officio member of the assembly, Honourable Dr Zanetor Rawlings, your evidence and basis for making an allegation against your opponent political party is social media…Whaaaat! Why did she even issue this statement…who told you to issue this statement…Please whoever advised you has done you a lot of harm…herh…,” Paul Adom-Otchere stated.
Paul Adom-Otchere then advised the MP, who is the daughter of former President JJ Rawlings to take the politics of Ghana and her constituency very seriously and learn from her parents how they conducted themselves when they were leading the country.
Clearly, it well appears that the brand Adom-Otchere puts his personal and selfish interests above his role as a member of the fourth estate of the realm.
The rationale for the unnecessary rants and dragging Manasseh through the mud was simple; Adom-Otchere is the General Manager of Jospong Group owned Metro TV therefore he was defending his position and not working as a shrewd journalist.
Adom-Otchere’s appointment to the board of the National Communication Authority (NCA) by President Nana Akufo-Addo in 2017, cannot be left out – infact it’s a contributing factor in making him biased.
This particularly influenced his decision to rip Multimedia Group Limited over their documentary and also to bully Dr Zenator.
The decision of Adom-Otchere to lash out at fellow journalists, and defend political criminals is politically motivated and fuelled by his selfish interest to amass worth to himself.
Never is it his aim to act as a responsible member of the fourth estate of the realm, as he claims.
Who doesn’t know Adom-Otchere always want to look good in the eyes of the public even if he has to tell fabricated stories?