Desist from ‘soli’ – Ms. Appiah-Adjei warns UEW reporters

A lecturer at the Department of Communication and Media Studies of the University of Education, Winneba (UEW), Ms. Gifty Appiah-Adjei has warned UEW reporters to refrain from gifts that may influence their reportage.

She said there may be nothing wrong in accepting gifts (soli) or an envelope from event organisers but the question to ask oneself was the motive behind it.

Ms. Appiah-Adjei said this on Friday 10th November, 2017 at Nathaniel Pecku Building Conference Room during the last quarterly workshop for Staff, Guest Artistes and Service Personnel of the Department of Media Relations.

She pointed out that reporters must always present facts just as they have observed at the event. She however, stressed that objectivity would be at stake so long as some reporters accept envelopes from event organisers.

“You can never be independent if you accept soli. Soli is meant to influence your work therefore, once you accept it, your story is compromised. I know Journalists in Ghana are not well paid but let’s avoid soli for the purpose of integrity.” She said. 

Ms. Appiah-Adjei hinted that envelopes given to reporters were meant to induce their commitments towards a particular coverage. “I am speaking from experience; when you attend a programme and receive an envelope with a huge sum of money, you realise it boosts your morale and you are committed to do your best. But you show no commitment when the amount is small.” She opined.

She said the media, as the Fourth Estate of the Realm was not just a privilege but a responsibility of Journalists to ensure that people receive the exact information always. 

“Sensationalising stories would do you no good but would rather taint your credibility. Let’s endeavour to give a vivid account of events and make an intelligent guess of attendance in situations where it is very difficult to get the eact number for attendance. For instance, if a reporter should state that about 500,000 people were present at a rally at the UEW Sports College field, obviously that would be a lie since that field could not contain such a huge number of people.” She said.

Ms. Appiah-Adjei advised UEW reporters to be wise when guessing attendance of events such as campaigns, rallies, tours and other social gatherings. 

She noted that the essentials of news writing were; accuracy, balance, credibility and objectivity. She therefore, appealed to UEW media practitioners to uphold these values in their write ups.