Senior Journalist and host of Good Evening Ghana Paul Adom Otchere has hit out at Multimedia Group journalists for toeing a political line by justifying and standing by their works after the National Media Commission ruled a documentary produced and aired by the media house as ‘misleading and sensational’.

Singling out a post by an editor at the news organization on Facebook in reaction to the ruling, the host of Good Evening Ghana described the action as crass, disingenuous and ‘serial caller journalism’.

“Did the NMC say we were wrong? Absolutely not. And by the way, the NMC is chaired by a government appointee. Sincerely speaking, could the verdict have been different? Let’s be honest. A government appointee is presiding over a petition brought by a government appointee whose lawyer was also a government appointee in the person of a deputy A-G. How could the outcome be any different my brother?” the post of the editor read.

“How can you even write this as a journalist? Look at the President’s extensive powers of appointing. The president appoints Supreme Court Judges. Are you suggesting that the Supreme Court Judges once they are appointed by the President, they lose their credibility?… So the President appointed Yaw Boadu Ayeh Boafo, is that the way to denigrate Yaw Boadu Ayeh Boafo’s integrity… you say that his integrity is impugned because President appointed him and therefore because President appointed him a matter brought to the National Media Commission where Yaw is chairman, he’ll not be able to look at it fairly and squarely, that his integrity is gone because the President appointed him…. This is tabloid journalism, it is like a serial caller journalism, it is crass, disingenuous” Mr. Adom Otchere chided

He however commended the Chief Executive Officer of Citi FM, Samuel Atta Mensah who tweeted that:

“Can journalists ever be wrong in this country? Is this a case of calling for media freedom or foisting media tyranny on the citizens? Be humble to admit when you go wrong. #journalistsarenotGod

Paul Adom Otchere stressed the need for the media house to maintain their pedigree credibility and standards very high since they have a high believability quotient.

Background

The National Media Commission referred a recent documentary about vigilantism aired by JoyNews with the title ‘Castle Militia’ as misleading, sensational and inaccurate.

The ‘Castle Militia’ documentary, which sought to shine a light on supposed vigilantism at the former seat of government (The Castle), went overboard in sensationalizing occurrences, adding photos and videos which had no connection to its subject matter and was ultimately misleading.

This was contained in a ruling issued by the Media Commission following a government complaint on the Joy documentary authored by investigative journalist Manasseh Awuni Azure.

In a statement, the NMC said “the investigation had not been consistent in following the ethical standards defined by the Ghana Journalists Association code of ethics, particularly guidelines 23 which states that a journalist ensures that photographs and multimedia content adequately reflect an event and do not highlight an incidence out of context.

“This resulted from the fact that whereas the respondent used a photo from a BBC report on an attack on the Nigerian senate to promote the documentary online, they failed to relate it appropriately.”

Additional flaws identified by the Commission with the documentary included;

“The inclusion of shots from the Ayawaso West Wuogon violence and attack on the Ashanti Regional Security Coordinator were at variance with the activities of the D-Eye Group as captured at the Castle. The Commission concluded that there was no predisposition to violence in the documentary. Therefore, the association of the D-Eye Group with the Ayawaso West Wuogon Violence and the BBC story from Nigeria, were sensational.”

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