Executive Director of the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA), Sulemana Braimah, has said the President’s meeting with the media on Wednesday is the worst since the engagement was introduced.
He said the event could better be described as President Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s address to the nation, not a media encounter.
Mr Braimah believes the encounter was the worst since it was introduced under President John Kufuor’s administration.
He criticised the President for taking a chunk of the time allotted for the event to deliver a speech that was full of praise-singing.
Sulemana Braimah also said the President “restated a lot of the things in his opening statement, chastising and castigating opposition and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs)” when it was time to reply the few questions that journalists had the opportunity to ask.
He said the format introduced to guide how journalists should ask questions further worked against the success of the Presidential Media Encounter.
“One worst thing I think that happened today is asking journalists to indicate the sector they are going to ask their questions from at the time of registration because at a press conference, many would have gotten their questions from the statement of the President or maybe from a question a colleague may ask.
He, however, touted the Ghana Journalists Association’s (GJA) involvement in the selection of journalists to ask the questions.
On the questions that were asked, Mr Braimah said the questions were generally good even though some questions were not up to the task.
Speaking on the same show, Deputy Information Minister, Pius Enam Hadzide, disagreed with Mr Braimah saying, “opinions are like noses so if one has a view somewhere, he shouldn’t think his opinion is better than someone else’s”.
Mr Hadzide said the President should rather be applauded for meeting the media because he is not mandated by the constitution to do so, even if he [President Akufo-Addo] is not the first person to do so.