General News of 2014-05-19

NMC condemns publication of P.V. Obeng's morgue pictures

The National Media Commission has condemned the publication of pictures of the remains of the late Mr Paul Victor Obeng, lying at the morgue.

Pictures of the former Chairman of the National Development Planning Commission and Senior Presidential Adviser lying at the morgue were first published on social media platforms such as Whatsapp and Facebook on Sunday, a day after he died.

Monday May 19, 2014 edition of the Daily Guide newspaper also contained a picture of the deceased in the morgue.

According to the NMC, the publications were a breach to the respect and privacy of the bereaved family and the right to dignity of Mr P. V. Obeng.

A statement signed by the Chairman of the National Media Commission, Ambassador Kabral Blay-Amihere, reminded the media about Article 7.2 of the NMC’s Print Media Guidelines on grief which states “in cases involving bereavement, personal grief or shock, the press must show compassion. Publication must be handled sensitively at such times”.

It said the publication was not only in bad taste but violates the right to dignity of the late Mr Obeng and causes unnecessary distress to the bereaved family.

“The NMC wishes to state that there is no public interest justification for the publication of the picture which contravenes Article 12 of the Ghana Journalists’ Association Code of Ethics.”

“It further violates Article 16 which states that “in cases of personal grief, distress, journalist should exercise tact and diplomacy in seeking information and publishing”.

Accordingly, the National Media Commission unreservedly condemns the publication in the Daily Guide and on Social Media and calls on the Ghanaian Media to respect the privacy of the bereaved family and the right to dignity of the deceased, it said.

“The NMC wishes to join Ghanaians in mourning the untimely death of Mr. P.V.Obeng and expresses its condolences to the bereaved family,” the statement added.