The Nana Aba issue – Can sanity prevail?

The Nana Aba issue – Can sanity prevail?

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I can understand why a good number of journalists are mute on this issue. At least they are far better than those who have come out to condemn the management of TV 3 without recourse to any professional standards.

The Nana Aba issue borders on two issues – corporate image and professionalism (journalism). First of all, let me state that Nana Aba has not been fired as has been reported by some media houses that are noted to thrive on sensationalism. She has been asked to stay off air till further notice.

Now, this is the issue as I have gathered from social and traditional media.

1. Nana Aba posts a picture of her supposing that she was at a particular place at a particular time.

2. Some of her followers on social media wondered why she did not take selfies with her adored Man U players.

3. She explains she was just too star-stricken to take photos; all she could do was stand in awe while people rushed to take selfies.

4. Nana Aba then posts a ticket of the match to support her claim. All this goes on for more than a day.

5. Some people alert the true owners of the photo. The owners quickly come out to denounce Nana Aba. They even produced original pictures to show that Nana Aba had photoshoped her image into the photo to deceive her followers.

6. Nana Aba apologises and says she was only playing – just a prank.

7. She has been trending on social media for days with people tagging her and her media house in posts meant to ridicule and humiliate her, calling her action pure deceit.

I don’t think it’s hard for anybody to understand why TV3’s name would be dragged into this whole debacle. Yes, she is an icon of the station. Hardly does anybody mention her name without attaching the station.

Now let me first address the issue of corporate image. TV3 is a corporate body which depends on its publics, including advertisers to survive. Any controversy that involves no mean a person than an iconic figure of the station affects its image too. I remember when I was employed at a certain media house, one of the first rules I was told is that the station does not care what I do with my private life but the moment anything any employee does in private becomes public matter, the station was going to take appropriate action to protect its image; and understandably so.
There is this story of a former iconic figure of a media entity who was alleged to have had a baby with a lady but was reluctant in taking responsibility.

The station is said to have warned this employee to do the right thing since such a matter has the potential of becoming public. The gentleman decides to take responsibility and the matter ends there. No corporate entity would allow any employee’s action, advertently or inadvertently, to drag its name into the mud. And Nana Aba’s tweeting issue will not be an exception.

The second issue concerning this Nana Aba case is that of professionalism. Every profession has a particular quality/principle without which it ceases to exit. A lawyer will cease to exist if he is perceived to be incompetent.

Therefore the biggest insult you can give any lawyer is to call him/her incompetent. In the field of journalism that quality is credibility. The biggest blow anyone can deal a journalist is to call him/her a liar. A lawyer will not bat an eyelid if you call him a liar but every journalist worth his/her salt should to be very worried should there be perceptions out there that he/she is not credible (I’m not even going to talk about copy right, plagiarism or fabrication).

Nana Aba’s issue borders on both corporate imaging and credibility; and TV3 knows better than to let such an incident go unnoticed. In fact, the station can never stand on any platform to proclaim professionalism if it does not take action. And what was the action? “Ok Nana, as things stand now we cannot afford to put you on our screens, so stay off the screens for now until we think it’s ok to bring you back”.

That’s all TV3 did. She goes about her duties as a full employee of the company and gets her salary at the end of the month. To me this is the most lenient of sanctions any management can give its employee who is deemed to have put her most important asset in the field of journalism – credibility- on the line.

Is it necessary for management to go public? Yes it is. The issue would have found its way into the public domain anyways. By that time, rumours, speculations, and half-truths would make nonsense of any statement that would be issued to correct any misinformation. And no corporate communication person worth his/her salt would want to court rumours and speculations.

So let’s “chill” and allow management to deal with the issue. Maybe it’s time for social media freaks, especially those who are iconic figures/employees of corporate institutions, to get some lessons on how to conduct one’s self on such platforms. And if you think that the place is your private space, you too need some lessons.

Kwaku Botwe
Broadcast Journalist

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