PrimeNewsGhana

Your interns must be prepared and on top of issues – Former JoyNews Editor chides Adom, Joy FM team

By Mutala Yakubu
Dzifa Gbeho-Bampoh
Dzifa Gbeho-Bampoh

A former News Editor with the Multimedia Group, Dzifa Gbeho-Bampoh has expressed her disapproval of the approach adopted by Joy FM and Adom FM in putting out an incident between Sanitation Minister, Cecilia Dapaah and an intern at Adom FM, Rahinatu Abdul Bach.

Dzifa Gbeho-Bampoh made this assertion as she waded into the ongoing debate that arose after Adom FM and Joy FM put out stories suggesting the Sanitation Minister refused to grant an intern, Rahinatu Abdul Bach, an interview because she felt disrespected.

But the former editor, expressing her views on Facebook, said the station erred in its handling of the issue.

“I don’t think it is appropriate in this instance to pitch the sanitation minister against the intern and the Adom fm & Joy FM team whom I urge to take a step back and reflect on this episode devoid of emotion. The protocols must be followed.”

Holding no brief for the Minister either, Dzifa Gbeho-Bampoh observed that the Minister cannot be absolved of blame noting that both sides erred in how the issue was handled.
Despite this, she insists the onus lies on the media house to ensure whomever they present to conduct an interview or carry out an assignment is well prepared and on top of issues.

The media house, the former editor advised, should conduct background checks on the Minister or whichever high level official to be interviewed to ascertain their posture towards the media and public.

“On the minister and intern debate, both sides erred. However, the burden lies more on the media house to present a journalist who is well briefed to pitch their request for an interview properly (that person may be experienced or an intern)” she stated.

Dzifa Bampoe continued, “one must know their newsmaker. Some newsmakers are liberal, more open and media friendly. Others are “full of it”, impatient and intolerant. A journalist must be crafty and studying and knowing your newsmaker helps devise strategies to disarm them and get your interview,” ABC News observed in the facebook post.

Her stance has been justified by some leading members of the governing NPP including Gabby Otchere-Darko who agrees that Adom FM failed to prepare the intern adequately for the interview, thereby resulting in the incident.

Gabby Otchere-Darko wrote, “It is, of course, great for an intern to land an interview with a minister of state. But, that reporter must also be prepared! Why would her status as an intern become an issue in an interview if, indeed, her inexperience was not on display? I ask this question because of what I’ve seen in my 3 decades of experience with the pen.”

Below is the full account of Dzifa Gbeho-Bampoh.

On the minister and intern debate, both sides erred. However, the burden lies more on the media house to present a journalist who is well briefed to pitch their request for an interview properly (that person may be experienced or an intern).

Usually a more experienced journalist will make the phone call with the intern present (they must observe how to approach senior public officials, observe how the context is presented and know the subject at hand well enough and SOUND CONVINCING).

Infact before major assignments (even before i became an editor) i would sit with the assigned reporter and provide a thesis and insist notes are taken to guide the reporting and questioning.

Senior people can tell who is a “baby journalist” and so may hesistate to lend their time for the interview. Sometimes, the request reflects a lack of preparedness. That said it is also in the right of anyone public official or ordinary Ghanaian to decline an interview … how it is done matters but I and most of us know most people are not patient and not keen to be polite.

Additionally, one must know their newsmaker. Some newsmakers are liberal, more open and media friendly. Others are “full of it”, impatient and intolerant. A journalist must be crafty and studying and knowing your newsmaker helps devise strategies to disarm them and get your interview.

Let’s shape the interns adequately before putting them in a situation they may not be fully equiped to handle.

And finally, I dont think it is appropriate in this instance to pitch the sanitation minister against the intern and the Adom fm & Joy fm team whom I urge to take a step back and reflect on this episode devoid of emotion.

The protocols must be followed. Cheers to all.

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Source: ABCNewsgh.com