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Judicial pronouncements against journalists not personal – Chief Justice

Sun, 25 Oct 2020 Source: 3 News

The Chief Justice, Kwasi Anin-Yeboah, has said the judiciary has no personal agenda against any journalist in this country.

He assured journalists who may have suffered judicial pronouncements that the sanctions were not personal against them.

Speaking as the guest speaker at the just-ended 25th Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) awards on Saturday, October 24, he explained that the judiciary is sometimes forced to step in to check the excesses in the media.

"That should not be deemed as an attack on them," he said in a statement that was read on his behalf by a Justice of the Supreme Court, Amadu Tanko.

“Our relationship can often take a sour turn and there have been times when we have had to lay down the law and step in to check some of the excesses that are inevitable in any public endeavors such as media practice.

“For any journalist who may have found themselves on the wrong side of judicial pronouncements, I am here to tell you that it was not personal. Sometimes this is needed to ensure that the right thing is done.

“I can assure you that the judiciary is committed to media freedom and working with you, indeed, with all of you to grow our democracy and improve the lives of our people.

“Freedom of expression is not an end in itself. Our national survival depends as much on the prosperity of citizens and the prospects of achieving it, as it does.”

The event was held at the Movenpick Ambassador Hotel in Accra on Saturday, October 24.

Multimedia’s Samson Lardi Anyenini was adjudged the Journalist of the Year with Media General also bagging awards including the Best Television Station in English for subsidiary firm TV3. Seven journalists from the media conglomerate picked awards.

In his speech as the Guest Speaker, the Chief Justice admonished the media not to be sensational in their reportage ahead of the general elections.

“This is a period in which your heightened political antenna can pick up insignificant signals and blow them out of proportion to excite partisan groups against their opponents.

“I call on the media to ensure that this attitude must not be followed during the countdown to our general elections and thereafter.”

He said the sterling performance of the inky fraternity during the height of the pandemic must guide the coverage of the upcoming elections.

“What we have learnt from the experience of the pandemic, which is still confronting the world, is that we are collectively bound in a way that matters of politics, religion, material wealth, and status cannot provide immunity from the common unseen enemy.

“The same is true of political strife. When we seek to divide and deceive for political gain, what we are doing is endangering our national cohesion as a people with a common destiny.”

Source: 3 News

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