The following newspapers: Daily Post, Ghanaian Lens, The Enquirer, Informer and Al-Hajj have been directed by the National Media Commission (NMC), to apologise to the three-time flagbearer of the main opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP), Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, for “offensive and derogatory,” publications against him.
The NMC directive follows a complaint filed with the Commission on June 16, 2014, by Mr Akufo-Addo about publications of the papers spanning Monday, June 8, 2014 and June 14, 2014.
A statement signed by NMC Chairman, Kabral Amihere, said in Mr Akufo-Addo’s complaint letter signed by his Counsel, Godfred Yeboah Dame, the former Attorney General said the “substance of the stories complained of, are in all essentials utterly false, a product of the imagination of the publishers of the newspapers specified above.”
Mr Akufo-Addo said he is seeking “severest sanctions to be visited on the newspapers in question in accordance of Act 449,” which sets up the Commission.
The NMC said despite its several invitations to the papers to a meeting to tell their side of the story, for a possible adjudication and settlement of the case, they snubbed the Commission.
Apart from the papers’ snub, the NMC said they also failed to offer any proof or justification for their stories.
Subsequently, the NMC said it ruled that papers in question indeed made the unverified and unsubstantiated allegations complained about by Mr Akufo-Addo.
According to the statement, the stories did not meet standards and principles outlined in the professional guidelines of the Commission and the Code of Ethics of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) which enjoined journalists to observe core journalistic values of truthfulness, fairness, accuracy and objectivity.
The NMC then directed the media to be guided at all times by the Code of the GJA, code of Conduct of the Ghana Independent Broadcasters Association and the various NMC Guidelines.
Also, the Commission has settled the complaint brought before it by Mrs Gifty E. Kusi, the Member of Parliament for Tarkwa Nsuaem against Pure FM.
The statement said Mrs Kusi in her complaint dated November 13, 2014 claimed that Pure FM had carried a story stating that she had paid GH?10.00 to delegates attending and voting at the NPP Presidential Primaries instead of the GH? 30.00 she had been given and kept the rest. Also that she had refused to give the said amount to the delegates from Simpa.
It said the complaint said the statement was untrue and that the newspaper made no effort to get her side of the story. “Officers representing Pure FM at the settlement Committee agreed that they had not treated Mrs Kusi fairly and admitted the professional lapses in their story. They agreed to retract the story and apologize on air to the MP. The Complainant duly accepted their apology,” it said.
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