I have read an article on Starrfmonline portal which is referred to a senior colleague in the profession Mr. Amin Lamptey who sort to reduce investigative journalism records of Anas Aremeyaw Anas to religious interpretations.
On records I am not a Muslim and so with all due respect will refrain from trying to interpret the Koranic verses; I have cited a response from another Islamic journalist to counter Senior Lamptey anyway. However, the first question to drop in my thinking cap after reading the article was; What does religion got to do with investigative journalism?
Well it may be because Anas is a Muslim, but Kwesi Nyantakyi is also a Muslim which should have served as a motivation for Anas to conceal his works to avoid hurting a Muslim brother, yet he went ahead and professionally discharged his duties to uncover the stinking rot that has eaten deep into our football game. What’s the benefit of being a Muslim, Christian or a traditionalist without helping to clean society of various negative activities? (That’s not what I intend achieving though).
I suggest we need to be able to decouple ethics of journalism from religious beliefs; Mr. Lamptey as a student of journalism should have measured the work of Anas with the ethical principles of the profession. That’s to check the basics whether investigative journalism is real, allowed and practiceds worldwide; if that’s the case then where has Anas gone wrong?
Mr. Lamptey should have checked on the modus operandi in investigative pieces; where the investigator can fake and play a role in a syndicate to expose them, can delegate an agent to hang in a syndicate for information or yet still can bait the perpetrators with any thing that seem to be a good point of contact to expose them. This I think have always been the style of Anas which is a worldwide investigative technique even used by the world famous security agencies like CIA, KGB, FBI and the others.
Emotions and religious interpretations can not be the tool to determine what’s right with investigative journalism, ethics and legalities should be the bases to weigh the works of Anas; and that’s these two elements are the only tools that can be used to expose any weakness in investigative journalism. I will urge my Senior brother Lamptey to be wary about profession and religion; let us not do anything that might paint Anas black to the Muslim community which might eventually discourage him from adding his worth to societal cleansing.
We live by law and govern by law and seek justice from the law; Ghana is neither a Christian nor Islamic country that must be govern with religious beliefs. I hope and pray that more of the likes of Anas may spring up to help uncover rots in the system. There’s an adage that says “You don’t run when you have nothing to hide”.
May we get more understanding as we share ideas as responsible citizens.
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