Saturday, July 21, 2007

The news: no news

In Ghana, the Volta River Authority (VRA)'s main function is to generate and supply electrical energy in Ghana. For some time now, there is an energy crises in Ghana and every other day, you'll be 12 hours off electricity (alternating day and night shifts). This includes ministries and business areas, so you can imagine it affects work seriously, let alone the domestic troubles it gives. Yesterday one of the news items on the Ghanaian television was that there is no news on the energy crises. There was a briefing for journalists by officials of VRA planned on the energy crises yesterday by 9.00. By 12.00 someone came to explain that the briefing would not take place... So this became the news item.

I'm not blogging this to ridiculize the VRA officials, but I do think it shows how they continue to think and act according to a pre-media model, where officials can arrive as late as they want, and can even cancel meetings after letting people wait for hours. Yet, currently with the new media like television and internet, this will become the news itself. Strikingly, the meeting was called 'briefing for journalists' and not a press conference.

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