The Media Foundation of West Africa (MFWA) is questioning the Judicial Service over its order to the media asking for the deletion of some spiteful stories about Justices presiding over the election petition.
Sulemana Briamah, the Executive Director of the MFWA suggested, the Judicial Service should have clearly pointed out such news reportage and called out the media houses responsible.
“The whole thing is just bringing a generic letter, accusing literally every media of not doing their work well and demanding that comments that have been posted are deleted.”
“I don’t think any media house would have cried wolf if the Judicial Service had said on this day, this media house published this particular story which undermines the Judiciary and therefore demanding a retraction and apology,” he said on the Point of View on Monday night.
On the same show, however, Senior Lead Counsel of the Judicial Service, Thaddeus Sory who wrote the said letter argued that there was no need citing specific examples.
He said the letter had provided enough room for media houses to recognize whether they have faulted or not.
“I have written it to all media houses so if you are not affected by it ignore it. I have written to other institutions specifically. The letter has not destroyed anything. What better examples do people want?”, Thaddeus Sory insisted.
But Mr. Briamah told host Bernard Avle that the letter by the Judicial Service appears baseless and smacks of attempts to gag the media.
“I don’t see the basis and to the extent that no examples have been cited and no indication and illustration have been given. It’s just cautioning the media and intimate them ahead of the ruling. Other than that, I don’t see the basis of the letter”, he said.
The Ghana Journalist Association (GJA) said the directive by the Judicial Service is in bad taste.
It has thus called on the Service to withdraw the statement with immediate effect.
The GJA interprets it as an attempt to gag or censor the media thereby stifling press freedom in the country.
However, the Judicial Service says the claims are false and it is not in any way picking on the media in fulfilling its mandate.