The Ghana Chamber of Telecommunications CEO, Kenneth Ashigbey, says claiming irresponsible journalism is the reason for the attacks and threats of journalists is flawed.
Speaking on The Pulse on Joy News, he stated that responsibility and safety of journalists are not two sides of the same coin and is justification for anyone to threaten or attack journalists.
“I have an issue with this theory…I am not too sure how many politicians have been beaten because they’ve taken the wrong decision. I am not too sure how many doctors have been beaten because a surgery has gone wrong.”
“I am not too sure how many lawyers have been attacked because they’ve lost cases. When we start discussing the safety of journalist and we start hearing the issue of responsibility as the justification for the why reporters should be attacked.”
He explained that journalists who have received death threats following the elections, those who were maimed and others who have become victims of electoral violence were all doing their duty.
The former Managing Director of the Graphic Communications Group said since he worked in the media election and projection have been part of the process.
“This has happened because people do not like what is being reported. We have seen a lot of attacks on the media and it has not been because of irresponsibility of the media,” he added.
Mr Ashigbey said he believes making excuses to explain why journalists are being threatened in the country is only incentivising the perpetrators to attack.
His comments comes after Deputy Information Minister Pius Hadzide blamed the attacks and threats on journalists on unprofessionalism on the part of some journalists in the country.
He stated that some journalists have failed to practice responsible journalism and this has amounted to a rise in threats and attacks on them.
“I think that the practice of mercenary and opinion journalism, where instead of reporting the facts, journalists report their interpretation of the facts is the challenge.”
However, Mr Ashigbey said there is no evidence to prove the Minister’s claim.
He said many people who are into irresponsible journalism are linked with politicians and sometimes stations that are owned by these leaders.
But, they do not suffer the same fate as a journalist in the mainstream media, Mr Ashigbey added.
He stated that irresponsible journalism is a problem and it needs to be discussed separately.
Meanwhile, The Multimedia Group has filed a petition at the Criminal Investigation Department of the Ghana Police Service to investigate a series of threats some of its employees have received.
The journalists, namely Evans Mensah, Gifty Andoh Appiah, Winston Amoah and Phillip Osei Bonsu of Asempa FM have all received threats following the announcement of the results by the Electoral Commissioner, Jean Mensa.
Also, the Ghana Journalist Association released a press statement asking the police to investigate threats against the life of freelance journalist Manasseh Azure.
Mr Azure revealed on Joy News’ Newsfile on Saturday, that he had received death threats following an article he wrote about the country’s recent election and its outcome.
The piece titled, ‘ERRORtoral’ Commission and Akufo-Addo’s coup d’état,’ discussed the anomalies with the Techiman South parliamentary results and the non-participation of the people of Santrokfi, Akpafu, Lolobi, and Likpe (SALL) areas in the voting process.