General News of Wednesday, 4 October 2017
Host of Metro TV’s Good Evening Ghana show, has opined that journalists who went to the polls to elect executives for the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) voted based on a statement released by the Association cautioning journalists to desist from witch-hunting businesses in the country.
According to Paul Adom Otchere, the statement greatly affected the just ended elections as it influenced the judgement of some journalists causing division amongst them.
“The election was between those who liked the GJA press statement and those who didn’t like the GJA press statement. Those of us who thought the press statement was correct, part of the ethics emphasising correct journalism, and we have had good offices and companies around the world, radio stations have conducted programmes where they have called from around the world and we’ve all heard what those people said about the statement.”
It could be recalled that President of the GJA, Affail Monney suffered some backlash after he released a statement cautioning journalists to avoid “media trial” of local businesses in the bid to expose corruption in the country.
In the statement, the GJA president suggested it was wrong for the media “to wage a smear campaign against individuals, especially local businesses and personalities who have made a substantial contribution to the growth of the economy.”
The statement brought tension among some journalists leading to a situation where some prominent media personalities advocated against the re-election of the GJA President.
The “anti Affail Monney” activists also questioned his competence and tried to mar his second term bid.
Affail Monney however, emerged victorious after he beat his closest contender, Lloyd Evans to retain his position by winning 310 votes out of the total 505 votes.
Commenting on the outcome of the elections, Adom Otchere who is a strong defender of the GJA press statement said journalists casted their votes based on the controversial statement.
He reiterated that, “The statement from the GJA is a correct statement and we shall stand by it and practice journalism according to the cautions in the statement and those who didn’t like the GJA statement were on the other side.”
According to him, analysis from the elections proves that journalists who voted against Affail Monney were those who believed the “studio can be made into a high court to proffer charges, conduct a summary trial and convict people of criminal charges based entirely on rumours and half-truth.”
He added that “those who believe it is irresponsible for media to convict businesses, especially local businesses of crime based on a news story,” re-elected Affail Monney.