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Ruling by NMC on militia documentary disturbing, does not befit status of commission - Azure

Manasseh Azure Awuni 0s9 Manasseh Azure, Investigative journalist

Thu, 25 Jul 2019 Source: rainbowradioonline.com

Investigative journalist, Manasseh Azure, has expressed disappointment in the ruling by the National Media Commission (NMC) following a petition filed against Multimedia over the recent controversial militia documentary.

The National Media Commission (NMC) has ruled that Multimedia Group’s documentary titled ‘Militia in the heart of the nation’ was misleading.

The ruling further indicated that the documentary was against the ethics of the Ghana Journalist Association (GJA).

Portions of the report read: “In the end, the Commission found out that the attempt to expose the fact that the group operated from the Castle was in the public interest. However, in the attempt, the investigation had not been consistent in following the ethical standards defined by the Ghana Journalists Association’s code of ethics, particularly guideline 23, which states that ‘a journalist ensures that photographs and multimedia content adequately reflect an event and do not highlight an incident out of context’.’’

The NMC went on to state in its report that the attempt by the producers to link the documentary to the violence that occurred during the Ayawaso West Wuogon by-election was “misleading and a misrepresentation.”

“The commission finds the commentary on the documentary and the association with Ayawaso West Wuogon violence as misleading and a misrepresentation.”

On the to the ruling, use of the Castle grounds for the training the NMC said: “The Commission is of the view that whereas it finds the presence in the Caste of the D-Eye Group problematic and unacceptable, the group did not manifest any violent conduct to be described as a militia or vigilante group from the documentary as the people of Ghana have come to identify such groups.”

But responding to the ruling, the journalist said he felt disappointed because the NMC failed to touch on all the issues he raised in the documentary.

He said the report by the NMC is a disturbing report and does not befit the status of the commission.

In a response the journalist said: “The NMC ruling, however, contained disturbing comments elevated as conclusions and deliberate silence on issues on the substance of the documentary, which the Multimedia Group provided enough evidence to back its case.

The report signed by the NMC Chairman, Yaw Boadu-Ayeboafoh, whose inclusion in the NMC Disciplinary Committee the Multimedia Group objected to but was overruled, overlooked material evidence (audiovisual and documentary) submitted by the Multimedia Group and proceeded to make comments without substantiating them with any fact from the documentary.”

Meanwhile, the government has welcomed the ruling saying it has vindicated the position it held after the documentary was released.

Information Minister Kojo Nkrumah said the government will continue to work to the general media landscape and doing their job of responding to questions and providing information as and when it is required.

Source: rainbowradioonline.com