Opinion: Kojo Yankson Lacks Media Professionalism – By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.

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Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jnr., Ph.D.

The original caption of this article was “Kojo Yankson Should Be Sued by Atomic Junction Kebab Seller.” Then on second thought, I decided to caption this column “The Underdeveloped Mental State of Joy-Fm’s Kojo Yankson.” I had to quickly cool my temper before finally settling on the present caption. Well, as the keen and critically thinking reader may have already guessed, this piece is about the grossly unprofessional account of the October 7 Atomic Junction Gas Explosion presented by Joy-Fm’s Super Morning Show host, Mr. Kojo Yankson. There is a great temptation for yours truly to indulge in ethnic stereotyping here, but he has strenuously decided for the sake of collective fair play and critical objectivity “Not to go there,” as New Yorkers are wont to say.

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But this is also the reason why I strongly believe that Mr. Yankson has absolutely no worthwhile background in media studies or has any formal training in journalism, else the first step that he would have taken prior to uploading his reportorial guff onto Youtube, as well as other cyber platforms, would have been to compare notes with the movers-and-shakers of the Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS). This is one of the very first elementary steps in investigative journalism that I regularly teach the students of my Introduction to the Principles of Journalism classes, and have been doing for the past 20 years.

You see, reportorial pronouncements on highly sensitive incidents like the Atomic Junction tragedy, which took the lives of nearly 10 people and reportedly injured nearly 140 people, reserve the indispensable corroborative input of experts and personnel meticulously trained in the firefighting business, especially since the victims are likely to hit both the government and the proprietors of the gas stations involved with lawsuits the costs of which may well run to the tune of hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of cedis.

I, personally, stopped reading and paying attention to Mr. Yankson’s reportorial poppycock, the moment the Joy-Fm Super Morning Show host slyly attempted to scapegoat the kebab seller on grounds that the latter had little or no formal education, almost as if the mere lack of such training rendered the kebab seller as one who woefully lacked common sense and a critical sense of both personal and public safety. Now that the preliminary report of the deadly incident has been published by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), hopefully, with the major and critical input of personnel of the Ghana National Fire Service, we have meaningfully learned to our horror that, in fact, the Atomic Junction apocalypse was inadvertently caused by an inexperienced petrol tanker’s driver’s mate who had been unwisely instructed by his boss, the tanker driver, to offload a consignment of gas, knowing full well that his assistant had absolutely no experience in handling this highly volatile and deadly chemical compound.

And so it is quite clear that of the legitimate criminal suspects who ought to bear the full brunt of discipline for the October 7 tragedy, the nearby kebab seller may be totally innocent (See “It’s Unfortunate to Blame Atomic Explosion on ‘Chinchinga’ Man” – GNFS” Citifmonline.com / Ghanaweb.com 10/9/17). The full report of the Atomic Junction tragedy has yet to be released by the relevant authorities, but it is quite safe to unreservedly agree with Mr. Prince Billy Anaglate, the Deputy Public Relations Officer of the Ghana National Fire Service, that Joy-Fm’s Mr. Yankson’s causal analysis of the Atomic Junction tragedy is patently false and one that dangerously verges on cheap publicity-seeking criminality.

*Visit my blog at: kwameokoampaahoofe.wordpress.com  Ghanaffairs

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