Ethical Violations: Myjoyonline, Ghanaweb, Others Cited For Grave Obscenity And Insults

The Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) in its ethical violations in the media space have cited Ghanaweb and Myjoyonline, both online portals as the marketplace for trading insults.

The Foundation noted that the online portals have become a platform where readers actively engage in sharing obscenities and trading invectives on the comment section.

It indicated that media monitoring exercise seeks to draw attention to such breaches as a way of fostering adherence to ethical principles by media organisations.

“All of the 20 violations that were recorded on Ghanaweb.com were comments of readers published on the news website. These comments which are published on the news website are not only unedited or unscreened by editors as ethically expected but are left at the discretion of the readers who have used the section as a platform to actively engage in sharing obscenities and trading invectives. The insults are either shared on the subject matter of the news items published on the website or at another reader who has shared an opinion on the news.

“The practice of leaving the comment section which often appears immediately below the news stories unedited was also noted to be common with Myjoyonline.com which recorded six violations for the period of monitoring,” a report published on MFWA website has revealed.

It added that the two web portals are part of 26 news organisations made up of 10 Akan language radio stations, 10 newspapers and six news websites. The reported noted that a total of 971 pieces of content from the 26 organisations were monitored and analysed out of which 136 ethical violations were recorded.

Meanwhile, ModernGhana portal has instituted that approach on its website design that automatically blanks negative words that portray insults on the comment section in line with the ethical standards and practices.

Read full statement and report below:

From August 16 to 31, 2020, the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) monitored ethical violations on 26 news organisations made up of 10 Akan language radio stations, 10 newspapers and six news websites. A total of 971 pieces of content from the 26 organisations were monitored and analysed out of which 136 ethical violations were recorded.

Pro-partisan radio stations Power FM and Oman FM emerged as the two worst perpetrators of ethical violations recorded 50 and 21 infractions, respectively. The news website Ghanaweb.com followed the pro-partisan partisan radio stations with 20 infractions.

All of the 20 violations that were recorded on Ghanaweb.com were comments of readers published on the news website. These comments which are published on the news website are not only unedited or unscreened by editors as ethically expected but are left at the discretion of the readers who have used the section as a platform to actively engage in sharing obscenities and trading invectives. The insults are either shared on the subject matter of the news items published on the website or at another reader who has shared an opinion on the news.

The practice of leaving the comment section which often appears immediately below the news stories unedited was also noted to be common with Myjoyonline.com which recorded six violations for the period of monitoring.

Over the period of monitoring radio stations were noted to be the worst perpetrators of the media ethics, recording 1o9 out of the 136 violations recorded for the period of monitoring. This was followed by news websites with 27 incidents. Newspapers recorded no ethical violation during the period.

The monitoring of media ethics is part of a project titled: Enhancing Media Professionalism To Inspire Public Confidence and Support for Press Freedom in Ghana being implemented with funding support from the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The objective of the project is to identify and highlight incidents of ethical infractions and draw attention to such breaches as a way of fostering adherence to ethical principles by media organisations.

The full report contains the specific ethical principles violated, the names of the media outlets that committed the violations, among other findings. Click here to access the full report. The instrument being used for the monitoring, which contains the category definitions for tracking and reporting of ethical principles is also available here.

Comments

Leave a Reply

Skip to toolbar