Ghana has a strong professional media landscape – Dr Mawugbe

A media analyst and strategic communication expert, Dr Messan Mawugbe has warded off suggestions by a section of the public that Ghanaian journalists are unprofessional in the discharge of their duties.

Dr Mawugbe’s comments come in the wake of the attack on Accra based Adom FM reporter, Ohemaa Sakyiwaa Ahwenepa by New Patriotic Party (NPP) firebrand Hajia Fati at the party’s headquarters last week.

The incident, which some say is a dent on Ghana’s image as a lead promoter of press freedom in Africa, comes barely a week after Ghana hosted media practitioners around the world to mark World Press Freedom Day.

While the action of Hajia Fati has received widespread condemnation from Ghanaians, including her own political party, some have taken on the assaulted journalist, accusing her of not being professional in her conduct.

But speaking on Radio Tamale’s Absolute News, Dr Mawugbe defended Ohemaa Sakyiwaa Ahwenepa and said there was no evidence to prove that she did not properly identify herself.

“I wouldn’t like to even go on that plane in the sense that how could we justify that the journalist didn’t identify herself? We can’t, but the bottom line is, in every human society the tenet of living together is respecting one another and the moment you break those tenants you are rather veering into unconstitutional terrain,” he suggested.

Dr Mawugbe added that: “You see whenever these infractions happen we turn to use the cheapest way of branding the media as being unprofessional.  I don’t think this is so. We have a very strong professional media landscape in this country. Had it not been the professionalism of the media I don’t think as a country we will be where we are today. I hear critics say it is the way the media practitioners carry themselves, no I don’t think media practitioners carry themselves in any bad light to deserve that.”

Within the last 15 months, 18 journalists in Ghana have been attacked in their line of duty which brings to question the safety of media practitioners in a country which is ranked top in Africa and 23rd in the world on the 2018 World Press Freedom Index.

In the just ended World Press Freedom Day celebration in Accra, over 900 journalists from all over the world called for an end to attacks on them in their line of work.

The journalists called for an end to restrictions on press freedom, urging governments to provide protection for journalists.

By: Blessed Eduamoah Dadzie, radiotamale.com

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