Executive Director of the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA), Sulemana Braimah says the media are not doing what is expected of them and have failed to live up to their role in society.

According to him, it is the duty of the media to act as a watchdog for the society and hold public officials and other individuals accountable for their actions.

Speaking on JoyNews’ AM Show on Friday, April 19, Mr Braimah said, ”I mean you can point to isolated media organisations but if you are to generalise, we can say that we are not even a quarter of what we should do. But the question to ask is, why?”

He emphasised that the media are part of society and if society is corrupt, the media will inevitably be influenced.

He asserted that Ghana has reached a point where standing up and doing the right thing has become a crime.

“Talk about the recent report by the Fourth Estate, go online and see the kind of arguments people are putting out. So weird, so bizarre. But they must do that in order to survive. They must do that and run to their paymasters and say ‘have you seen that I am defending you’ – so that they can survive because it’s almost like that’s the only way to survive as far as some people are concerned.”

Mr Braimah cited the example of Senegalese President Bassirou Diomaye Diakhar Faye, who spent time in prison for standing up against corruption before eventually becoming president.

According to him, people have forgotten the sacrifice he had to make to be able to get to where he is now.

“People are forgetting the fact that, by standing firm and standing upright in defense of certain principles, in defense of democracy and all of that, he had to go to prison. He was prepared to do that. He knew why he was being taken to prison but he was prepared to do that.

“So it’s not about looking he is now president, this guy has done well. No, it is about the values that he stood up for,” he said.

The Executive Director recalled the early days of Ghanaian democracy where individuals were willing to risk their freedom and even their lives to challenge the authoritarian government of the time.

“They knew that this is right, we must do it. But our conscience, we cannot do that as journalists. But today, it’s anything goes, it’s about I want to also drive a four-by-four. I want to also have this, I want to also have that and right from the top, I believe it’s about the values of our society.

“If we have a leader who says that I am going to reset this country by making sure that I am doing the right thing, and by so doing I’m sure other people will do the same, we would have a massive transformation,” he said.