General News of Monday, 22 June 2015
The Settlement Committee of National Media Commission (NMC) has settled three complaints against some media houses in exercise of its constitutional mandate to mediate complaints and maintain high journalistic standards.
A statement issued by the NMC Chairman Mr Kabral Blay-Amihere said the following complaints have been resolved: Vice President Kwesi Amissah-Arthur versus Peacefmonline.com and Okay fm’s Abeiku Santana; Dr Kojo Appiah-Kubi, Member of Parliament for Atwima Kwanwoma against Kessben 93.3 fm; Ghana Girl Guides Association and its Chief Commissioner versus The Vanguard Newspaper.
The NMC said Vice President Amissah-Arthur through his lawyers complained of a false story by peacefmonline.com on April 1, purported to have caught the Vice President in the act, kissing his lover in a New York apartment.
Okay fm’s Abeiku Santana had also claimed later in the day that the Vice President had died.
The NMC said management of peacefmonline and Okay fm in their response stated that those publications on April fool’s day were only satirical and not malicious.
“The two stations have therefore agreed to apologise to…Vice President Amissah-Arthur for both stories and have subsequently removed the offending article from their website.”
Member of Parliament for Atwima Kwanwoma, Dr Appiah-Kubi complained of a story by Kessben fm alleging that he had recruited a party member to collect monies for himself from a toilet he had built for Krofrom, one community in the Atwima Kwanwoma district.
The story alleged that Dr Appiah-Kubi’s actions had created tension in the town and had resulted in the chiefs and people dragging him to court.
The NMC said Dr Appiah-Kubi complained that the publication was malicious and fabricated to tarnish his reputation.
The statement said Kessben fm’s representatives conceded the falsity and their own professional lapses in publishing the story, agreed to retract it and apologize on air to the aggrieved person with the same prominence given to the initial story.
The Ghana Girl Guides Association and its Chief Commissioner also complained of the falsity of a story by The Vanguard Newspaper headlined “Visa scam hits Girls Guides Association”, alleging “visa racketeering and multiple acts of corruption”.
The NMC said it had directed The Vanguard’s editor, Mr Osbert Lartey to publish a correction and apology in three consecutive issues of the paper with immediate effect and equal prominence as the offending story.
The statement urged the media to respect citizens’ right to fair coverage while exercising their right to report news and to be guided by the codes of conduct of the Ghana Journalists Association, Ghana Independent Broadcasters Association and the NMC’s guidelines.