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Don't lecture us on 'basic journalism' - Affail Monney to Judicial Service

Tue, 2 Mar 2021 Source: www.ghanaweb.com

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The President of the Ghana Journalists Association, Roland Affail Monney, has re-emphasized the stance of the association on the media versus the judicial service matter that has been brewing in the past few days, stating that it is not interested in any fraternity turmoil.

Affail Monney and the leadership of the GJA had described at a press conference yesterday, Monday, March 1, 2021, the statement from the Judicial Service to the media to pull down statements and speeches containing hateful and inciting communication against the judiciary, as scandalous.

"The GJA is, to put it mildly, dumbstruck in reading this obnoxious directive pregnant with insidious threats to the media freedom in Ghana which is touted as a land of freedom and justice. With all due respect, this is scandalous,” portions of the GJA statement read.

But, reacting to the statement from the GJA, Thaddeus Sory, the managing partner of Sory@law, and lawyers for the Judicial Service that issued the warning to media houses, insisted that their statement was a step in the right direction.

Speaking in a JoyNews interview, Thaddeus Sory said that the GJA failed to address any of the issues highlighted in the letter by the Judicial Service, stressing that the statement was a reminder of ‘basic journalism’ principles.

“Jesus Christ. I’m usually the first person to concede a point if it is clear. The GJA has not said one thing that has anything to do with this letter. The heading ‘Threats against the med’, where is the threat in here. You have read a paragraph which says if you say vengeful or spiteful things about the judiciary, it has consequences. Did I need to tell the GJA members who know basic journalism that this has consequences? I have only repeated what they should know,” he said.

But, in a reactionary interview with GhanaWeb TV, Roland Affail Monney stated that the media fraternity, and for the matter, the GJA, will not be bamboozled into toeing the line of something that suits only the judiciary best.

"We need to state emphatically that we are not setting up ourselves on a collation course with the judiciary or their lawyers. We were prompted to react to a statement they issued, which was pregnant with insidious threats against the media. One does not need any superfluity of intelligence to understand the statement they issued, what they sought to achieve with that statement. And our statement was in direct reaction to what the judicial service through their counsel issued.

"I'd say that we were even measured in our reaction because we didn't want to exhibit any emotional rollercoaster. Ours was to stay within the confines of the ethics of the profession and to send a clear message to whoever was behind their statement and what they intend to achieve by that statement that the GJA and the media community will insist on the right thing being done, will assert our constitutional rights to exercise oversight responsibility over all the arms of government. We stated in details that all of us are subject to the law; no one is above the law," he said.

He explained further that they do not need any lecture or reminder from the judiciary or its lawyers on their duties as the media, especially being guided by the fact that they also fall within the same law and understand the limits in the performance of their duties.

"And when it comes to the judiciary, we know the extent to which we can criticize them in order not to bring the justice system into disrepute and they also know that whatever decisions they take, whatever actions they take, are subject to public scrutiny. I think that it will end that and we believe in dialogue if need be but at the same time, when it comes to exercising our rights to rejoinder - ours was just a rejoinder, a response to what they issued, we'll not flinch from so doing," he emphasized.

Source: www.ghanaweb.com
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