I watched the story about the work of a Ghanaian NGO and claims to the effect that Russian trolls were operating through Ghana and Nigeria, to meddle in the US presidential election.
Frankly, something isn’t right, particularly about how the CNN reported the story. The Chief International Correspondent could have done herself and her media a lot better than churning out a rather sloppy and superficial reporting.
First, her arguments against EBLA, the supposed NGO, are weak. She attempted to reference posts from so-called employees of EBLA – posts about racial justice, police brutality etc – in arguing that these posts were meant to foment trouble and interfere in the US election. No single post cited was enough ground to accuse or even suspect EBLA of being a Russian troll.
Second, the so-called Chief International Correspondent, flew to Ghana – at the expense of her employers – to do what should be a serious reporting on Russian interference, a problem which the whole US struggles to contain, and cited Ghanaian police raid on the premises of EBLA.
Rather disappointedly, she failed to interview the police to corroborate this allegation. Had she attempted to speak to the police and failed, she owed her discerning viewers the duty to say so. She failed to do that.
Third, just listen to her encounter with the said owner of EBLA. It looks more like a bitter housewife confronting her rival over a petty gossip.
Journalism ethics demand that you remain unbiased/ neutral in your reporting. You don’t confront the person and make statements as though you were police detective extracting a confession. She failed to do this simple task.
How about the secret filming/recording of her conversation with the guy? Another wasteful use of a good journalism technique. Again, undercover reporting ought to be a last resort, not when the gentleman was right in your presence and was, obviously, willing to talk.
One more point. If I were in this International Correspondent’s shoes, and I were to witness this guy holding a meeting with students, I would go the extra mile to speak with at least one of those supposed students who attend the said meeting. She made no reference to any such attempt, and that makes her story weak and lousy.
I am a huge CNN viewer, and I know what quality journalism CNN can produce. Sadly, this is not one of them. If this reporter did not have the time to do a thorough investigation, she should have simply stepped aside and allowed people with the competence and the time to do a thorough reporting. Investigation reporting is not one that can be achieved through parachuting.
And let not Ghanaians endorse anything at all just because it came from the CNN or any foreign media. Some of our media in Ghana are doing a great job, having myself been part of Joy FM’s weekly HOTLINE.
I know what it takes and how long it takes to produce a single HOTLINE documentary. This is a strong reason for all Ghanaians to reject, with all our might, any attempt to throw dust on our nation under very flimsy excuses.
I believe that this kind of reporting should be of strong concern to our Ghanaian authorities. No nation will sit idle and allow its image to be soiled in that manner.
To single out the work of an NGO and make allegations to the effect that Russians were recruiting people based in Ghana – and Nigeria – to interfere in the US Presidential election, should surely be a big concern to the Ghanaian and Nigerian authorities.
Maybe, Ghana’s security services, particularly the police, who allegedly carried out the raid, should explain what they know about this matter. And government must come clear on this case too, not only set the record straight but also assure its citizens and the international community that our dear country or any of its citizens will not be a pawn in the hands of any Russian nor any foreigner whatsoever, in interfering in any foreign election.
Mind you, we have our own election in December, and its sanctity ought to be diligently protected.