GJA cautions journalists against publishing political comments on Supreme Court hearing

GJA President, Affail Monney

GJA President, Affail Monney

President of the Ghana Journalists Association, Affail Monney has cautioned journalists against airing comments from political party representatives on the ongoing Supreme Court case.

“Journalists must maintain a high professional standard by avoiding airing comments from political party representative on the election petition case at the Supreme Court,” he said.

The Chief Justice, Georgina Wood ordered a live telecast of proceedings in the spirit of transparency as provided under Article 12 (63) of the 1992 Constitution and the Courts Act, Act 459, 1993 (as amended) and the CI 16.

Political party officials have since been taking advantage of the live telecast to make comments on proceedings and sometimes cast invectives at each other during interviews with the media just after the close of everyday’s sitting.

The two General Secretaries of the major political parties involved in the case, NDC and NPP have particularly been noted for such unsavoury comments about proceedings to support their claim to eventual victory.

But Mr. Monney told Adom News political parties want to win public sympathy, so they usually twist facts in their favour during interviews with journalists, and that could be dangerous.

“Though it is important for the political parties to measure their confidence in the case, we have to maintain high professional standards until the case is determined by the court,” he stated.

He advised journalists to stop giving them the platform to do propaganda and rather concentrate on utilising lawyers to explain issues to the public.

Mr. Monney said it is important that the media does not destroy the confidence posed in them by entertaining propagandist comments from political party representatives.

He said whereas it is laudable to have experience court reporters covering the proceeding, it is also very important to hired lawyers doing most of the explanations in the media to avoid any misinterpretations.