‘Get it right’: CNN lambasted online for ‘absurd’ Ghana coverage
CNN is in hot water with some of its Ghanaian audience, who have accused the news channel of over egging economic challenges in the African nation by describing it as a place where people “struggle to obtain food and day-to-day services.”
Coverage CNN’s website regarding Ghana’s recent presidential election provoked outrage, with many readers incensed by the number of inaccuracies in the article.
Entitled ‘Ghana election: Incumbent concedes to Nana Akufo-Addo’, the December 9 piece detailed Ghanaian President John Mahama’s defeat at the polls.
The article explained how Ghana’s newly-elected president Nana Akufo-Addo had previously failed at “three runs for the presidency – in 1998, 2008 and 2012.”
However, readers have correctly pointed out that no such election was held in 1998.
But it’s the claim that the people of Ghana find it difficult to source food and are forced to “stand in long line[s] to obtain products” that really has people concerned with CNN’s reporting accuracy.
Gary Al-Smith, a sports journalist with South Africa’s SuperSport TV, as well as the BBC and The Guardian, questioned CNN’s view of Ghana’s economic status by describing it as “lazy”.
“I didn’t know Ghanaians ‘stand in long lines to obtain products’ or ‘struggle to obtain food’. And I live there,” he tweeted to the US channel.
Uhm @CNN, I didn't know Ghanaians "stand in long lines to obtain products" or "struggle to obtain food". And I live there. #CNNGetItRightpic.twitter.com/tpyosBIrJJ— Gary Al-Smith (@garyalsmith) December 11, 2016
After 2hours, we are top trending in GH. Keep retreating the #CNNGetItRight. We want it to trend in as many African cities as possible. ✌💪 https://t.co/YBdTg3Cezh— Gary Al-Smith (@garyalsmith) December 11, 2016
A hashtag promoted across Twitter by the Ghanaian journalist has resulted in scores of people telling CNN what they think of the report.
@StephanieBusari. You should be ashamed of this irresponsible journalism. #CNNGetItRight@garyalsmith she co-authored the article pic.twitter.com/WF0W5tthvg— Jules (@DrjayJnr) December 11, 2016
Thanks to @garyalsmith for the heads up on the @cnn article and the hashtag #CNNGetItRight. Good looking out! 👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾 #GhanaDecides#Ghana— Jemila #GhanaDecides (@jabdulai) December 11, 2016
I guess you didn't do your job because you were not in Ghana. Smh. #CNNGetItRightpic.twitter.com/hNqWmktsHF— Kow Essuman, Esq. (@kaessuman) December 11, 2016
He's right, that's poor by CNN. Apparently written by someone who hasn't actually stepped foot in Ghana? https://t.co/tWJSZez93r— Jon Benjamin (@JonBenjamin19) December 11, 2016
@CNN#CNNGetItRight we are tired of ur hopeless reportage. U claim u 'go there and report the difficult stories' u fail Africa shame on you! https://t.co/Qf6x6bl8Np— Disenchanfrize (@its_AK24) December 11, 2016
@jabdulai@CNN@garyalsmith— Tony Montero Asamoah (@TonyMontero_TM) December 11, 2016
Usual template used. Africa is dying....#CNNGetItRight
#GETITRIGHTCNN CNN came to GH searching bad news during our elections but found none so they fabricated one. Shame on that lazy reporter. pic.twitter.com/3MSYmAtZlp— Elikplim Ahlibi (@ellynson) December 11, 2016
Ghana’s outgoing First Lady Lordina Mahama also took umbrage with the original article, tweeting: “#CNNGetItRight we are a beautiful and thriving country. Kindly report accurately on us.”
#CNNGetItRight we are a beautiful and thriving country. Kindly report accurately on us.— Lordina Mahama (@FirstLadyGhana) December 11, 2016
An editor’s note has since appeared above the report acknowledging the incorrect portrayal of Ghana’s economy.
Just landed in GH. Looks like @CNN changed the erroneous facts on the story after the #CNNGetItRight deluge. Q: WTF were there thinking?! pic.twitter.com/TH1k9POidw— Gary Al-Smith (@garyalsmith) December 11, 2016
“An earlier version of this article incorrectly described the status of the retail economy in Ghana,” it said.
We demanded #CNNGetItRight and they heard us loud and clear. The article's been edited. Read it here: https://t.co/LyJOirOtmF#peoplepowerpic.twitter.com/m1LePPawta— Kafui Dey (@KafuiDey) December 11, 2016
The @CNN story on Ghana's elections has finally been amended. #CNNGetItRight#GhanaDecidespic.twitter.com/EE7QDMHcwY— Jemila #GhanaDecides (@jabdulai) December 11, 2016
The absurd article has been corrected by @CNN. How it was even approved beats my imagination. #CNNGetItRightpic.twitter.com/B4b6BDq9f6— #GhanaDecides (@OyooQuartey) December 11, 2016
“Stores are generally well stocked, and food shortages are rare. The earlier version also erroneously said Nana Akufo-Addo ran for president in 1998. Ghana did not have presidential elections in 1998.”