Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The Hunt for Blue...October, or a tale of Desperately Seeking @ghanapolice on Twitter!

It all began on 26 October, when a Ghanaian tweep mentioned something about Ghana Police being on twitter.


Quizzed, I followed through a few links and realised they were on the @ghanapolice address. They had asked a question about community policing, and tips to assist. They appeared to be following only a few people. So I decided to follow.


Last week, I gave the Ghana Police Service (0302.773.900) a call, and explained my reason for calling. The lady at the other side was very empathetic, and decided to give me the number of no less than DSP Kwesi Ofori, Director of the Public Affairs Department (0302.761.274). When I called, he thought it was Joy FM waiting to speak with him for an interview. He suggested I call him back in 30 minutes.


I decided to send a text instead, but I got no reply.


Last Thursday morning, I heard on CITI97.3fm(@citi973) that he was going to be live on-air to respond to a few questions about Ghana policing.  My question about TWITTER came late in the day, so I never got round to having it answered.


Unperturbed, I decided to call the Police Service's PAD again, and this time was given their direct number. Once through, the young lady was clueless about twitter, and when she asked, I heard someone say in the background "toyota??!!" !!


I was eventually put through to one DSP Attah who explained that he was once in a meeting in which it was mentioned that they would contract someone to set up [and manage] their twitter account. He himself was just returning from travels, so I should call back in an hour's time.


Minutes led to hours, which led to cases in the media that has involved the Ghana Police and inhibited I suspect any desire by DSP Kwesi Ofori-- who's been on television and the radio almost every day—to call me.


Oh well. I'm a patient man, and this very day, I have called Public Affairs Department, spoken with DSP Attah who says that in a brief chat with his colleague, it was revealed that a consultant had indeed been tasked to manage the @ghanapolice account. I see the Public Affairs Account really is on Facebook, and is looking great, thank you.


Now, the biggest test is for us Ghanaians to do several of these – and not necessarily in the order outlined below:


  1. Call the Ghana Police Public Affairs Department on (landline) 0302.761.274.
  2. Ask to speak with DSP Attah
  3. Query him about the @ghanapolice twitter account
  4. Query him again…
  5. …and again.
  6. So much so that the PAD of GhPolice will be compelled to inform the MEDIA and the PUBLIC about the twitter account, and how it can help complement the police service's work.

labels:ghanapolice; mid-week madness; ghanapolice on twitter; twitter

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Why an ex-BBC Journalist-Blogger's Was Censured for his Racist Comment

There have always been racists among us, and like crime, I don' think it is ever going to go away.

I can understand how the democratisation of the e-space (read:the Internet) has enabled voices of all slants establish themselves through blogs.

But when we get experienced journalists -- like Rod Liddle, former BBC Radio 4  "Today" programme Editor make racist comments, without even realising it is racist, and thinking that his "pedigree" would sanction his comment, then the blogosphere becomes all that bit more murkier.

Still, we have to thank God organisations like the UK's Press Complaints Commission exist, for they were able to censure Liddle, explaining that his blog entry

"...had not been able to demonstrate that the 'overwhelming majority' of crime in all the stated categories had been carried out by members of the African-Caribbean community".

Now this is the UK, and I am not surprised someone's complaint brought the PCC's attention to bear on the matter. But I cannot help but wonder what would happen if something similar had been done in Ghana, where no agency exists to deal with such issues?

Not that in Ghana, anyone would necessarily write a racist comment (!), but given the degree of our political polarisation, where almost every issue is politicised, who would censure any blogger who might write a highly-biased entry that was written through the filter of (excessive) partisan politics?

Would it be the rather-pusillanimous Ghana Journalist Association? or the ever-more timerous National Media Commission(NMC).

I am encouraged that GJA information can be found under the Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition, and that people can complain to the NMC, but how about a form--like that of the UK's PCC?

The way the NMC site is set up is great, but if it were made easier for citizens to complain--as is done with the better-performing Ghana's Public Utilities Regulatory Commission, then more people would feel, in my view, compelled to complain and make the Commission more meaningful.

Ghana still has a challenge with blogging--not enough of our journalists are blogging, and that cannot augur too well for our fledgling democracy as the guardians of the Fourth Estate seem to linit themselves to the 9-to-5 journalism.

Perhaps, given the state of play of non-blogging journalists, citizen journalists can begin to put sufficient pressure to ensure that the agencies that need to have teeth to make necessary censures can begin to think a bit more about working!

*This entry can also be found on*

Monday, April 12, 2010

Nice-Looking websites for GRAPHIC MIRROR; SPECTATOR, Shame About the Uploads!

The highlights of my Saturday reading include the very informative "GRAPHIC MIRROR"; and the Times Corporations' even-better "WEEKEND SPECTATOR". I have always had a problem with "weekend spectator", which I think is a misnomer, because it suggests that there is a paper out there--called "The Spectator"--which comes out regularly? Perhaps, if they changed it to "Weekly Spectator", that might be more appropriate?

But, that's just by-the-bye!

Point is: missing these two instrumental papers was going to screw up my Saturday reading--and screw it did. Having the relatively good METRO TV news and the just-okay TV3 was fine, but nothing beats a good reading on a wide range of subjects.

So, it's a bit strange that with all the electronic resources (beautifully-crafted website), which I suspect uses JOOMLA (open source technology), we cannot get regular updates of the papers online!

A few weeks ago, I noticed that the "Spectator" paper was now available at SPECTATOR.NEWTIMES.COM.GH -- news I gave a silent punch in the air to.

Sadly, it has not lived up to expectation.

Instead of catching up on the weekend's news I missed over the weekend, I was subjected to a hodge podge of articles--some dating two weeks ago; some a few weeks; some even two months old! All useful information alright, but not quite the weekend reading of Saturday I was hoping to enjoy!

The less said about "Graphic Mirror", the better!

It was no better!

There are many unemployed youth -- graduate and otherwise -- looking to be employed.

If these two media outlets are unable to have their weekend material uploaded ahead of time, since Saturday is certainly not the day they gather the material!!, then they should perhaps start putting out vacancies?

This post can also be found on

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Re: Mid-Week Madness: "Great with the Podcast, CITIfm97.3, but How about a Downloadable file?"

As I write this, I am listening to a very good recording of an interview by CITI Breakfast Show Host Bernard Avle and Minister of Trade and Industry Hannah Tetteh, which was conducted this morning. I missed some of it, so I am very glad to be listening to the whole thing.

That is all well and good, but what is not is the fact that I could simply have downloaded it! What if my internet connection was--alas--not as stable as it is today? Would it mean that I am indefinitely incapacitated? Would a podcast (à la BBC) not simply have done the trick?

Whilst I am the first to commend CITIfm97.3 and what I call its "pseudo-podcast", which it calls "audio on-demand", I will also be the first to criticise it.

It is great that one can re-listen to radio clips, but how about being able to download it -- as exemplified by the inimitable BBC?

Back in 2008, I wrote an article for the erstwhile "Sunday World" newspaper, entitled "(Pod)Casting Aspersions on the Ghanaian Media". You can access the article here:

In it I gave the raison d'être for podcasts, which I quote here:

Let's face it: podcasts are not only supposed to educate us; they are supposed to make our lives easier. Issues with internet connectivity notwithstanding, last time I looked, most internet cafes enabled you download from the 'Net and even from and unto your storage devices. Even without a connection at work or in your home, if you knew you could re-listen to your popular breakfast, or lunchtime show, by way of a podcast, I could imagine you would end up feeling both sated and dedicated to your station of choice—knowing they not only care about the kind of programmes they produce, but want you to be further interested in giving you the opportunity to listen again. To boot, your productivity would inevitably be boosted knowing you would not make too much effort to listen to a programme on the hour, especially when you can catch it again—albeit without contributions by text and email you might want to make.

So, when I get to the very much-improved CITIfm97.3 website, yet it requires me --  in a developing country like Ghana where the internet connectivity through broadband is unpredictable -- I cannot quite figure it out.

Please give me a downloadable radio clip, which I can download from any computer in the country, so I can die happy!

*This post can also be found on*

labels: mid wk madness, mid week madness, citi fm, ghana radio, ghana podcast

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Why Ghana's TV3 Consistently Disappoints

So TV3 has just ended a season of its "Mentor " series. I have friends, colleagues and acquaintances who have told me of their profound disappointment with the show because of increasing lack of quality on the show. The lack of quality has little to do with the contestants--after all, they start as novices with a view to improving--and everything to do with the quality of the show.

The biggest thorn in the "Mentor" flesh resides in the judges who are awarded only 30%, with the remaining allotted for the voting public. Despite complaints of earlier seasons of Mentor that proved to have winners that effectively cheated by buying units for their friends and family to vote them to the highest spot, the producers seem to be still operating on the blind side of quality, by retaining a good 70% for the public who vote in with their credits!

But, really, this is not just about "Mentor".

If we were in the UK, there would certainly be lots of noises about TV3 "dumbing down".

I accept that there is no culture of regularly assessing the media in the manner that is done in the West, but I think it is never too late.

I often wonder where lie the statistics that show that the majority of Ghanaians seem to prefer TV3 to the infinitely-better METRO TV, who I feel are far more professional and dedicated in the quality of their reports??

Then there is their news.

The other day, they had a "three facts" about AUTISM. After the facts, I was more confused than ever; the information was culled from, but I humbly submit that they should have consulted WIKIPEDIA, because the definition offered was more abstract than simple! Forget even the fact that TV3 consistently has unforgiveable typos that want to make you scream!

Still on their news, there is something that irks me about their news: it just does not interest me. Sure, you have the passion of good presenters like Nana Aba Anamoah and Basuwa Hammond who make a great effort to make the news interesting. In my humble opinion, if the news is scripted poorly, the news will continue to be poor.

We like in this country to emulate the West in many aspects, but I wonder why we don't like to emulate the quality of the West. Look not too far form your dial, and you can easily tune to BBC Worldservice on 101.3FM.

Are Ghanaian newscasters--especially on TV3--tuning in at all?

The day I learn a new word than a badly-pronounced one while watching TV3 news is the day I know mediocrity will be a thing of the past.

TV3, wake up!!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Some Snapshots of Ghana's Front pages

I know it has been a while, but I do not think it is ever too late to offer an "overview" of some of the front pages of Ghana's dailies.


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