Nov 03, 2011 at 2:55pm
Expectations Of New GBC Director General
COMMENTARY ON EXPECTATIONS OF MR.
BERIFI APENTENG AS THE DIRECTOR-GENERAL OF GBC
In 1996 when Kofi Annan was elected UN Secretary General, he described his new position as the most impossible job in the world.
Someone had even told him he had accepted a job from hell.
But as Mr.
Annan put it, someone had to do that job no matter how difficult it was.
One may not see management of Ghana Broadcasting Corporation as a job from hell or the most impossible job on earth but it is a really difficult one.
After almost a year of being without a substantive Director-General, the lot has fallen on Mr.
Berifi Apenteng, a Media Consultant and a former staff of GBC.
Apenteng assumes office at the same time as Ken.
Ashigbe, who heads the Graphic Communications Group Limited.
But while Mr.
Ashigbe is going to head a profitable state-owned media house, Mr.
Apenteng will preside over one that cannot sustain itself and is often in the news for bad reasons.
One does not need a Doctoral thesis to ascertain the problems with GBC and Apenteng’s success or otherwise will depend on how he appreciates his new role.
First, he must realise that GBC is like many public institutions in Ghana and is steeped in the retrogressive "this-is-how-we-do-it-here" syndrome and is not easily susceptible to change.
He must know that freedom of the Ghanaian state media from governmental control exists only in texts books.
He therefore has the task and the mandate to insulate the state broadcaster from unnecessary governmental interference.
To do this, he must steer the state-broadcaster to remain fair and neutral especially with the approach of election 2012.
Apenteng must also brace himself for the unnecessary ethnic fracas, internal power wranglings and the “me baahaakye” syndrome which have threatened the progress of the state Broadcaster for years.
Apenteng is back to a familiar terrain and these challenges may not be new to him.
He must however rise above business as usual and effect the necessary changes that are badly needed at the state broadcaster.
He must not be afraid to step on toes of those opposed to change, because GBC badly needs a change of direction to remain relevant as the nation’s broadcaster.
The Ghanaian electronic media landscape has experienced tremendous growth following the liberalisation of the airwaves.
Unfortunately this has not reflected in the quality of programming and media content.
Many radio and television stations have mistaken notoriety for popularity and allowed politicians to use them as platforms to trade insults, vilify and malign opponents.
Despite all the criticisms levelled against GBC, it still maintains its dignity and pride of place as a highly ethical and responsible media house.
GBC still remains the only media organisation available to many Ghanaians outside the cities and big towns.
Unfortunately, however, the state broadcaster has lost its place as the pacesetter in broadcasting.
The irony is that GBC has a collection of the finest journalists and technicians in this country, but lacks the attitude to excel.
The atmosphere is not conducive for hard work and mediocrity seems to be a merit.
One area that the new GBC Director-General must effect change is content and programming.
GBC has what it takes to come out with programmes that will keep both the younger and older generations glued to its network.
Indeed, as much as expected of the new Director-General, he cannot do it alone.
He will need the support and co-operation of management and staff of the corporation and they must not withhold it from him.
In Jeremiah 29 : 7, God tasked the Israelites in exile to seek the peace and prosperity of any city they find themselves in, so they could also prosper.
This admonishing also applies to places of work.
Celebrating Christmas without salary is not an experience GBC workers would want to re-live.
This and other reasons are what should motivate workers of the corporation to rally behind their new leader and work to ensure the success of the corporation.
They owe this as a duty to themselves, to mother Ghana and to humanity at large.
Good luck to Mr.
Berifi Apenteng in his new office.
BY: MANASSEH AZURE AWUNI, A JOURNALIST.