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The emerging string of attacks on media personnel and media houses across the country is extremely worrying and unacceptable, Executive Director of the Ghana Centre for Democratic Development, Prof. Kwasi Prempeh has cautioned.
His comments come on the heels of several reported cases of assault on media practitioners in the country by both state and non-state actors and the inaction on the part of government in demanding justice for affected personnel.
“This new emerging bullying of media people, beating them, threatening them cannot be acceptable. We must show solidarity with our media brothers and sisters when they come under attack for trying to do the right thing,” he noted.
According to him, media practitioners are not obliged to have full evidence before putting out stories but can provide an adumbration or make known the trails of news items and leave the public to make their own judgements based on what they see.
“If you have to require 100% accuracy before you publish anything, there would be no news, there’d be very little published in the world.”
“Sometimes, you go with the story, follow a trail, it sounds credible, you follow it, you connect the dots and you leave the public to make their judgement…That’s what journalists do. So this new thing as if you don’t have evidence that can stand up in court you can’t publish anything…that’s not how journalism works.” Prof. Prempeh advised.
In the midst of apparent media insecurity, Prof. Kwasi Prempeh made a relentless call on CSOs to support media men in their quest to unearth cases of corruption; as well as the citizenry to rather resort to the courts to address their issues against media practitioners instead of physically assaulting them in their line of duty.
“People should respect the rights of journalists to ply their trade… if you have a problem with what they’re publishing and you think you’ve been defamed, you go to court but not physically attacking them”.
Attacks on Journalists
Recent series of assaults involving media persons includes, the murder of investigative journalist Ahmed Suale, attack on four reporters by security officers of the ruling New Patriotic Party at the party's headquarters in Accra, Soldiers' assault on a freelance journalist, Kendrick Offei, the attacks on a reporter by a body guard of former President John Mahama.
Other series of attacks were launched on GBC reporter, Yahyah Kwamoah by presidential staffer Stan Dogbe, Joy News reporter, Latif Idrissu by some Police officers, and the very recent one on some Ghanaian Times reporters by police officers.
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