Misconceiving Media

Surrounded by overlapping, incoherent orders and a whirl of cameras and rushing people, squinting into the blinding, hot lights, I’m in my element.

In the last week I have visited 4 news stations with my travel group.

  • Joy FM
  • Radio Universe
  • TV3
  • Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC)

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Whether in a developing country like Ghana or a media dominated country like the United States, the passion for storytelling is the same. I was surprised at how well done Ghanaian media is and how similar it is to western news sources.

The equipment, writing structure, and editing process are all familiar to me. They are just like to equipment, writing structure, and editing I used in my news television internship last summer. The newsroom is just as chaotic, and the news anchors have the same cool, collected, professional presence.

But why on Earth should I be surprised by this? A goal of mine in coming to Ghana was to come in open minded and not allow western influence’s stereotypes to dictate what I thought of the country. Apparently I have failed.

For some completely unfounded reason, I felt I knew more than these experienced professionals just because I am from America and have had exactly ONE internship at a news station.

I feel absolutely and completely ashamed of myself. Who am I to feel superior in any way? Why did I even feel that way? I’ve never heard anything, good or bad, about news sources in Ghana. I guess I just assumed that since Ghana is still technically considered to be “developing” it must not have journalistic integrity like I’m used to.

Apart from being completely untrue, this is something I have gotten upset at friends and family for while I’ve been here. While talking to them about my experiences, some of my friends and family have mentioned things about Ghana like “wow I didn’t realize they were so developed” and “Are there just lions and hippos and other animals running all over.”

I chastised them for thinking Ghana was primitive, and yet didn’t I have the same subconscious prejudices? I suppose recognizing the problem is a step in the right direction. But I’m still in shock that my mind wasn’t as open as I thought. Educating myself is the best thing I can do to resolve my western superiority and prejudices.

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