The Executive Director of Media Foundation for West Africa, (MFWA), Sulemana Braimah, says the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, should have condemned the attacks on journalists at the just ended 2019 Bar conference of the Ghana Bar Association in Takoradi, Western Region.
He said the condemnation would have been a huge step in discontinuing such attacks.
“It’s surprising that the President focused on professionalism which is also important and turned a blind eye on the numerous attacks on journalists and media organizations in the country.”
In an interview with GBC’s Radio Ghana Thursday September 12, Mr. Braimah said, “the President talked about the fact that no attempt or efforts have been made by government to suppress press freedom which is true because there is no evidence that government of the day wants to stifle Press freedom.”
“I don’t know what specific effort the government is making to ensure the numerous attacks on journalists is brought to an end and this is quite worrying that the President decides to ignore completely the incidence of attacks on the media, over forty (40) incidence that have happened over the last two and a half years that he has been the president of our country,” he disclosed.
“The President is the father of the nation and he is addressed as the number 1 citizen of the country so I would have expected that the President would have condemned such acts and taken a personal position in terms of a declaration to the effect that this things cannot continue to happen whilst also talking about the need for professional standard, the need for journalists to up their game and so on.”
Addressing the 2019 GBA Conference in Takoradi, President Akufo-Addo said, “the continuing vitality of the Ghanaian media and the intense diversity of our public discourse remain some of the most internationally admired traits of Ghanaian democracy.”
“However, as I indicated at the World Press Freedom Day event in Accra, last year, there is the need for continuous training, self-regulation and an insistence on acceptable media ethics and journalistic standards by media houses, practitioners and their organizations, as part of the process of installing a culture of accountable governance, requiring high standards and professionalism in the Ghanaian media.”
“Politicians are not the only persons who make mistakes. Media practitioners, like all human beings, can also make mistakes, and, when they do, they should have the humility to acknowledge their error, and not have their misdeeds atoned under the guise of ‘media freedom’. Irresponsible media practice is an abuse of freedom of expression, not its manifestation.”
Story filed by Marion Elorm Debrah.