Executive Director of Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA), Sulemana Braimah

The Executive Director of the Media Foundation of West Africa says he is saddened by the comments made by members of the Ejura committee that the coverage of the protests and everything leading up to it may have contributed to the violence and the killings.

Speaking on Top Story, Sulemana Braimah said that the accusations levelled against the media during the public hearing are unfair especially since many journalists worked during a crossfire to ensure the public was served with information on events of the day.

“These security officials were not under the command and control of journalists. I would have been expecting that, I would have been expecting that the committee would have seriously appreciated the very very serious work that has been done by journalists,” he said.

This comes after one of the security officials who appeared before the three-member committee said that the media during the protests carried their own stories without first consulting the security officers on the ground.

He said that “Journalists didn’t help with the reportage, a lot of tension was created when for me there was none. We issued a number of press releases and I didn’t see most of the media carrying that because they were carrying their own stories that sold for them rather than the official police communication.”

Reacting to the claims, the chairman of the committee “as for our media friends when you talk they think you are bashing them, but they have the right to bash everybody in Ghana except themselves.”

“We all know that it is the agenda that they set that they want all Ghanaians to follow.”

“So, when an incident happens they sit there, bring out issues, ask people to call in and express their mind, and that becomes the topic for Ghanaians to discuss. So, don’t be worried if they did not contact your outfit to ascertain who Kaaka is and who he was. My friends in the media know that I am talking the truth,” he said.

However, Mr Briamah said he did not hear any member of the committee or the security personnel pinpoint what exactly they believe the media got wrong in their reportage during the disturbance in Ejura.

He admitted that the media does make mistakes and they own up to it, adding that their mistakes have never led to the death of persons in the country.

“These [videos] are coming from journalists who dared to be on the frontline as guns were being fired, live bullets were being used,  by military officials. So, it is so pathetic and sad to hear members of this committee not really focus on the issues they are supposed to focus on and begin to find something to blame the media for.”

“If we are talking about unprofessionalism and acts that undermine the security of our state, i don’t think that the media is the one to be blamed,” he added.