THE YOUTHS AND JOURNALISTS; CALL FOR EQUITY BUT COME WITH CLEAN HANDS

By Haruna Mubarak
THE YOUTHS AND JOURNALISTS; CALL FOR EQUITY BUT COME WITH CLEAN HANDS
THE YOUTHS AND JOURNALISTS; CALL FOR EQUITY BUT COME WITH CLEAN HANDS

He who calls for equity must come with clean hands. Some of our leaders most especially our political leaders have fallen short of this saying. But I’ve been wondering, how about the youths of today, are we really the early 1600s sanctimonious people we claim to be today?


I am always saddened by the retarded progress this country has experienced over the past sixty years. We always talk of the fact that the next generation will do better forgetting the next generation is actually been groomed by the current generation who have fallen short of their mandates and responsibilities. In any case, how many next generations has this country seen in over sixty years and how better have any of those so-called next generations been?

Now, the chauvinism with which some of our youth leaders of today sometimes comment on issues and also lead us with make me wonder if we will be any different when the reigns are handed over to us.

Our acts of cheating in the examination halls are no exception to the problem of how bleak our actions today make tomorrow seem. We seem to think that the little things we do without getting caught are short of the grand corruptions that our leaders engage in but it is actually not.

Journalism is now considered the fourth estate of the realm, the watchdog of the society, the voice of the voiceless, and the trumpeter of the white truth but how clean is the man sitting behind the microphone?

In the American movie, suits, season three episodes twelve, a professor of ethics, Professor Gerard says “in ethics, it’s not about never doing anything wrong, it is about making choices.” Now, no human being is infallible but how far an individual is willing to perpetuate certain acts to the detriment of others is what makes things worse. Our choices as a people will either make or unmake this country.

How many journalists have had to bend the rules just to have their way? I’ve heard a lecturer say, well, sometimes you have to break the laws for the greater good but what if the armed robber also claimed same? It is not about bending the law but observing it to the latter. But to every rule, there is an exception, you can observe that exception but not claim the greater good and keep circumventing the law.

Some of us were scandalized when it came out that some prospective teachers who had graduated training college had cheated in the licensure exams but how about journalists also cheating in the exams hall? That's nothing, is it? Indiscipline teachers instilling discipline in pupils and corrupt journalists reporting or commenting on the corrupt acts of others, what is the difference?

I am a student of the Ghana Institute of Journalism and I have witnessed and heard students caught cheating during exams. How do these people still have the moral right to keep another person in check? How do they still have the moral right to comment on the iniquities of others who are either exploiting some people or doing something shady?

He who calls for equity must come with clean hands. If we can’t keep our hands as clean as possible, then how can we trumpet the truth? Would that not make us hypocrites?

Sometimes if you catalogue some the actions of the youths of today, you would think the future of this country is nothing short of apocalyptic but everything is salvable. We engage in all kinds of fatuous arguments while we shirk our core responsibilities.

With proper and uncompromised journalism, we can hold our leaders accountable and hold them to the best of standards but if we also have skeletons to hide in our cardboards, then how do we do our jobs without fear or favour?

The enthusiasm with which some youth leaders defend the actions of our political leaders being it their seeming ineptitude or corrupt acts, one would wonder what their endgames are. As the youths of today and the future leaders of this country, we must stand our ground, not get compromised. Do unto others what you want others to do unto you. Let this next generation no matter how we are groomed by the current crop of leaders (both political and non-political class) be better than any generations ever before us.

He who calls for equity must come with clean hands. We must keep our hands clean so we can call on others to do same. Keeping our hands clean will empower us not to shudder when we demand total transparency and accountability of our leaders.

We can be better, we can do better. All we need to do is to focus on the collective good instead of individual gains.

If mother nature bends to the will of desire, is it logical that mere men can defeat a burning desire? Firm desire and strong decisions must be ingrained in our fertile soil to fuel our collective growth. Let us hit our wagon to something bigger than ourselves.

This country deserves better

Columnist: Yussif Ahmed