The Chairman of the National Media Commission (NMC), Yaw Boadu Ayeboafo, has described as “dysfunctional and unproductive” recent calls by the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) for media houses to blacklist two politicians accused of aiding attacks on journalists.
The GJA has declared the blackout on MP for Awutu Senya East, Mavis Hawa Koomson and MP for Yendi Farouk Aliu Mahama, both accused of assaulting journalists in the heat of the NPP’s parliamentary primaries.
The NMC Chair, while condemning assaults on journalists, asked that victims rather explore legal avenues to fight such acts of impunity instead of general blacklisting of politicians.
“The recent violent attacks on journalists for exercising their primary obligations of informing our people is unfortunate.
“This has resulted in the equally unilateral decision of the GJA to call for a boycott or blackout on such people. While the approach is very popular it is dis-functioning.’’
He explained that, “Many years ago I caught the displeasure and contempt of the Ashanti Regional Chapter of the GJA when they issued such an order against the Vice Chancellor of KNUST. As usual with some of our journalists, my views were taken as too known.
“I still hold the position that while it is disheartening for journalists to be attacked violently, the unilateral resolution to blackout or boycott is not the most productive reaction. We cannot fight impunity with impunity.’’
But the GJA President, Albert Dwumfour, says he is disappointed in the comments made by the NMC Chair.
He described the posture of the NMC Chair as unfortunate since GJA has exhausted all relevant processes before issuing its directive.
“In every extraordinary situation, we take extraordinary decisions. We see this situation as abnormal. In abnormal situations you don’t need functional minds to treat abnormal situations, you deal with it abnormally and that is the position of GJA.
“I am surprised and utterly shocked that no other person came here to use our platform to chastise us than the NMC Chair. He is a senior journalist and a veteran and he didn’t even take his time to ascertain from us what informed our position.”
The latest development comes days after the police failed to arrest persons who physically assaulted David Kobina, a journalist with Cape FM in the Central Region during the NPP’s parliamentary aspirant vetting.