The Ashanti Regional Chairman of the Ghana Journalists Association, Listowell Yesu Bukarson, has expressed grave concerns over government’s handling of the media in the region.
“The media in the region refuse to be intimidated and disrespected by government” he said.
According to Mr Bukarson, the decision by the Information and Media Relations Media to refer the circumstances surrounding the controversial tape of the President, John Dramani Mahama to the Police CID is tantamount to attempts to frighten and intimidate the media in the region.
“We will resist intimidations, threats, frustrations and disrespect of the Ashanti media by all, including the government,” Bukarson said in a statement.
“The decision by the Information and Media Relations Minister, Hon. Mahama Ayariga to refer the matter to the security apparatus is not just intimidatory but exhibition of disrespect to the entire media fraternity including the National Media Commission, especially when it is widely believed that some media persons doctored the said tape,” he added.
The GJA in the Region also takes exception to the manner in which its members are handled during government assignments.
“Journalists covering the three day tour of the President in the Region were given a raw deal,” he stressed.
For instance, he said, journalists were crammed in “very uncomfortable vehicles.”
A Daily Guide reporter was also harassed and restricted from covering the climax of the 15th Anniversary of the Asantehene at the Kumasi Baba Yara Stadium on Sunday by the President’s security.
“The reporter was duly accredited by the GJA. The accreditation was done by the National Security and submitted to the GJA to be distributed to the journalists covering the event,” he said.
“It is therefore unimaginable that the security that provided the accreditation will not only prevent but frustrate a journalist from performing his duty.
“I’m tempted to believe that there is a grand scheme to discriminate against some media houses in the coverage of government programs in the Ashanti Region.
“I want to stress that, an attempt to discriminate against any media house in the Region will be sternly resisted,” he warned.
“Government better respect all journalists in the Region or we will together advice ourselves regarding the coverage of government programs in the Region,” he added.
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