What Good Journalism is About: What Readers Need to Be Told By the Reporter By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe,jr., Ph.D.

Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
The report of a 27-year-old galamsey operator having murdered his pregnant girlfriend in the Adansi-North District of the Asante Region, left the critically-thinking reader with several unanswered questions (See “Go For Your Daughter’s Body – Murderer Tells Victim’s Father” Ghanaweb.com 7/21/12).

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Among the several unanswered questions is the relationship that the murder suspect, Mr. Yaw Kyei, had with Mr. Akwasi Boateng, the father of the slain woman, Ms. Yaa Akyamaa, whose age, by the way, was not given. Needless to say, Yaa Akyamaa’s age, had it been provided by the Daily Graphic reporter, would have given readers a clue as to why the victim’s father appears to have treated her like a minor or an apparently rebellious teenager whose parents felt compelled to, literally, keep under lock-and-key.

For instance, readers are informed that “Without the notice of her parents, Akyamaa [had] traveled with Kyei to Adiembra in the afternoon.” Paradoxically enough, readers are also informed that, indeed, Yaa Akyamaa appears to have been old enough to have lived by herself in another village, Pipiiso, separate and apart from the village where her parents lived. We are also told that several days before she was slain by her boyfriend, the dead woman’s father, Mr. Boateng, had visited with his daughter at Pipiiso and even had Yaa Akyamaa cook for him.

The sense that the critical reader gets here is that the deceased woman’s parents must have been acutely displeased with the fact that her boyfriend, Yaw Kyei, did not seem to have been professionally engaged in any worthwhile, or legitimate, enterprise, for we are also told that Akyamaa was presumably a fairly well-established farmer. Or it could simply be that the slain woman’s parents felt that their in-law-to-be was not good enough of a marriage material for their daughter, and did not hesitate to make their utter displeasure with his relationship with their daughter clear to the murder suspect.

That Mr. Kyei would so savagely and brutally murder a woman with whom he appears to have been deeply in love – for neighbors seemingly unreservedly testify to having seen the couple swim together many times in the Atentem river, where Akyamaa had been allegedly murdered – and then have the temerity to phone relatives of the slain woman and order them to collect her corpse at the crime scene, if they so desire, clearly points to certain undue parental interference in the relationship, the unsavory nature of which must have pushed Kyei, the murder suspect, over the proverbial edge so as to brutally kill the very woman he appears to have so dearly loved.

If the foregoing observations bear scrutiny, then, it goes without saying that the parents and some relatives of the deceased ought to share in the blame for this horrific act. Then also, it is quite interesting that the murder suspect would indicate to the relatives of his victim that “he had reported himself to the police in Kumasi.” This clearly means that Mr. Kyei, the murder suspect, had the primary motive of deeply hurting the parents and relatives of the deceased. In sum, as patently absurd as it may seem, the victim appears to have only “accidentally” been caught in the crossfire of anger between the suspect and the relatives of the slain woman.

Could it, therefore, plausibly be that her parents had successfully convinced Yaa Akyamaa to part ways with Yaw Kyei? And/or could the slain woman have been contemplating aborting her two-month-old fetus as a means of definitively severing all romantic links with the suspect? Or was a torrid romantic relationship with another suitor more in the favor of the slain woman’s parents and relatives a factor in this most heinous deed? This is the logical route that most critically-thinking readers would have an astute reporter take them; and particularly a salaried reporter who works for a frontline and/or mainstream state-owned newspaper such as the Daily Graphic.

Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D., is Associate Professor of English, Journalism and Creative Writing at Nassau Community College of the State University of New York, Garden City. He is Director of The Sintim-Aboagye Center for Politics and Culture and author of “Ghanaian Politics Today” (Lulu.com, 2008). E-mail: okoampaahoofe@gmail.com

The opinions expressed are the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the views or have the endorsement of the Editorial Board of www.africanewsanalysis.com and www.africa-forum.net