General News of Thursday, 20 December 2018
The Media Foundation of West Africa (MFWA) has described President Nana Akufo-Addo’s Wednesday meeting with journalists as the worst presidential media encounter ever.
In all, there were 70 invited journalists, which translates into a potential 70 questions according to Information Minister Kojo Oppong Nkrumah. However, only 15 journalists asked questions, and the encounter started about 30 minutes late.
“I think that there are quite a number of disappointments and generally we think this is the worst ever,” Sulemana Braimah, the Executive Director of the MFWA remarked on Citi TV’s Point of View.
The foundation is known to assess the quality of questions reporters pose to the President during such encounters as well as the organisation of the event and the quality of responses.
But one of its gripes on this occasion was the event was too short.
“We were like no, it cannot just end like that… quite a number of us like were like what? What is going on?” Mr. Braimah recalled.
Mr. Braimah felt the event was supposed to have grown past some of the failings that were noted on Wednesday evening.
“Ordinarily, one would have been expecting that we would be continuing to improve upon it [the meet the press] because every encounter comes with its own review, critiques, comments and so on and so forth.”
One major point of concern for him was that the President appeared to hog all the time from the media members present for a speech which Mr. Braimah described as “a rehearsal for his State of the Nation Adress.”
“…but if you have an encounter that lasts for 90 minutes and the President spends almost 70 minutes out of that then you have 20 minutes for these media guys that you have invited to interrogate you.”
Mr. Braimah also observed that President Akufo-Addo “clearly wasted too much time” on some of the questions that demanded straightforward answers.
The President’s handling of the event was also met with some negative reviews from Ghanaians.
A number of Ghanaians also pointed out that the event was too short and the time was not managed properly whilst others sought to poke fun at the government.