Benjamin Emmanuel Ephson, Uncle Ben as I affectionately call him is one of the early torchbearers in the fourth republic when it comes to media reporting.
Records has it that whiles at Accra Academy in 1974, he began his journalism career as a reporter for the London-Based monthly Africa Magazine. In 1981 he was in the University of Maryland, College Park by dint of a Ford Foundation Fellowship; where he submitted a research paper titled ‘The impact of the Print Media on U.S. Foreign Policy, Somalia as a case study’. Again Uncle Ben obtained a law Degree (LLB) from the University of Ghana in 1981. He has a wonderful working experience as a journalist and he is presently, the managing editor of the daily dispatch newspaper.
He is known to be a journalist and has strengths in other fields but it seems research is not one of his best fields of endeavour. His recent prediction of who wins the NPP primaries can at best, be treated like a spam lotto number. His defence of his own poll shows clearly that it is not backed by any scientific data but a complete barrel of conjecture.
The records would have suggested that Uncle Ben will focus on journalism and allow those with solid research experience and training to be conducting the researches so that he can share his opinion.
However he will not wait for any researcher but will concoct his own and share in the media, after all he has a microphone and a paper to throw anything out there.
Now let’s consider this; before I speak to his recent poll about the NPP Presidential primaries, let me remind you my dear reader that in a paper titled True or False Polls, the writer elucidates on a number of times uncle Ben`s electoral prophecies (for want of a better word ) backfired:
1. Chairman Wontumi Vs COKA
2. Dominic Eduah Vs Nana B
3. Sam George Vs Michael Kwettey
4. John Dumelo Vs Suzzy Efua Adobea
5. Justin Kodua Vs John Boadu et. al.
6. John Mahama Vs Nana Akufo-Addo (2016)
In an interview with Adakabre Frimpong Manso of Neat FM, Uncle Ben said that ‘The question we asked SOME of the respondendents was; who do you know, and why will you vote for the person?’ let me ask, is he conducting a quantitative or qualitative research, why does he have a different set of questions for every delegate? Where is standardisation? In a manual issued by the City University of London on Research Ethics they say that Research should be designed, reviewed and undertaken to ensure recognised standards of integrity are met, and quality and transparency are assured.
Again, Uncle Ben has been able to do what even the Population and Housing Census data 2021 could not provide, he sat in the comfort of his room and determined that one-third of voters in Ghana are floating voters…. In Michael Kpessa-Whyte’s paper on Exploring the Socio-Demographic Distribution of Independent Swing Voters in Ghana, conducted in 2021 he made reference to the Ghana National Opinion Poll Survey conducted in 2019 in which 27% of respondents self-identified as independent voters. K.S. Fridy, (2012) even puts the percentage of floating voters at 20%. So from which studies and with which data did Uncle Ben arrive at one-third which in literal terms means if you pick every three Ghanaians one of them is a floating voter.
Uncle Ben has hinted on publishing a Book in the next six weeks, In this much anticipated book, I would love to see the methodology and the sample size used for the research. I would also wait patiently to study the questionnaire and the response to the questions accordingly.
For now, I give the revered journalist the benefit of doubt,as we await the book. It is unfortunate he couldn’t wait until then to speak to the issues, but I eagerly await the details of this research, so that we can interrogate the issues further.
My name is P. D. Orchill and I am a friend of the Home Sense Movement.
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