‘We Have Lost Our Media Ethics’

Award winning broadcast journalist ‘Chairman General’ Kwami Sefa Kayi says he is of the view that the Ghanaian media has totally lost its ethical standards in how information is packaged for its audience.

The host of Peace FM’s ‘Kokrokoo’ programme, who was commenting on the station’s ‘Entertainment Review’ programme, strongly condemned how some media houses, especially television stations, showed gory images of dead bodies of victims of the recent floods and gas explosion in Accra on Wednesday, June 3, 2015.

The morning show host said ethics of journalism and broadcasting worldwide do not permit such graphic images to be shown with impunity without any kind of censorship or cautioning of viewers before they are broadcast.

He noted with concern how the gory images of victims of the twin disaster were shown on screens, particularly in the early hours of Thursday—the next morning.

He said it was unacceptable and went ahead to mention some of the television stations, including UTV and Metro TV, who were guilty of what he called the unprofessional journalistic practice.

‘I don’t think we are losing our ethical standards. For me, we’ve already lost it. It is gone because I had a case with my own people, UTV, so I will start from my own house. The way UTV broadcast some of the pictures was not good at all. It was in a very bad taste, especially when they gave close up shots of the faces of charred bodies of dead people live on television…It was very worrying,’he chastised the television station.

He said he also saw similar images on Metro TV where dead bodies in horrible state were being shown.

‘…Seriously, I was not too happy when I saw those pictures on TV,’ he said.

He also made mention of DAILY GUIDE as one of the newspapers which published similar pictures, even though he admitted that the pictures were far better because they didn’t show any faces.

According to Kwami Sefa Kayi, it would be disheartening that someone leaves home to go to work and unfortunately meets this tragedy and dies and the first place his/her relatives see the dead body is on national television. He lambasted all television stations which showed such raw images, adding that just watching those visuals on TV could even make people collapse and die in their houses.

Even though he agreed that the media is supposed to give information to the people as it is, he said his only problem is how it is done.

‘I know that as journalists we bring the report as it is and sometimes it is good to give the true picture of what is really happening, but when you are going to do something like that you warn viewers ahead; but this was shown early morning at about 7am when people were preparing to go out and they put on their TV’s and this is what they see. I think it’s inappropriate,’he added.

By Eugene Osafo-Nkansah

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