The Executive Director of the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA), Sulemana Braimah says the National Media Commission’s ruling on Joy News’ controversial documentary titled ‘Militia in the heart of the nation’ is not detailed enough.
Mr. Braimah speaking on Eyewitness News among other things questioned the ruling and insisted that it is not comprehensive enough.
“I have gone through the decision of the National Media Commission and I think that the Commission did not help matters at all. I think so because on matters like this, you will expect that the Commission to be more detailed and more specific so going forward we can all be guided by decisions such as these.”
“Just like in the legal realm, decisions of the court are relied upon for future references and how certain things should be done, one was hoping that the Commission would have used the opportunity to present a decision that will educate all of us going forward. There were very fundamental areas that I expected the Commission to address,” Mr. Braimah noted.
What did the NMC say?
The NMC ruled that Joy News’ controversial documentary was misleading.
The Commission in a ruling said it found that the documentary goes against GJA’s code of ethics although the focus on group operating from the Castle was in the interest of the public.
“In the end, the Commission found out that the attempt to expose the fact that the group operated from the Castle was in the public interest. However, in the attempt, the investigation had not been consistent in following the ethical standards defined by the Ghana Journalists Association’s code of ethics, particularly guideline 23, which states that ‘a journalist ensures that photographs and multimedia content adequately reflect an event and do not highlight an incident out of context’,” the Commission stated.
The Commission among other things said the use of some photos in the documentary were not properly related to the original focus of the story.
In March 2019, Joy News produced a documentary purporting that the State was complicit in the training of a supposed militia that used the former seat of government, the Osu Castle as its training ground.
Following the premiering of the documentary, there was controversy over the substance of the video and whether or not the footage used in the piece was a true reflection of what was suggested in the narration.
The government subsequently condemned the documentary and described it as misleading.
It subsequently petitioned the NMC over the issue.
The NMC said, “The Commission is of the view that whereas it finds the presence in the Caste of the D-Eye Group problematic and unacceptable, the group did not manifest any violent conduct to be described as a militia or vigilante group from the documentary as the people of Ghana have come to identify such groups.”
Gov’t vindicated by NMC ruling – Oppong Nkrumah
The Minister for Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah is elated over the ruling by the National Media Commission (NMC) on Multimedia Group’s controversial documentary titled ‘Militia in the heart of the nation.’
He said the ruling has vindicated government.
Speaking on Eyewitness News on Wednesday, the Minister said government was never at war with Multimedia Group’s documentary but just wanted them to acknowledge that their documentary had a lot of misrepresentation.
“We are not at war with any media house or Multimedia in particular to necessarily demand so much of them. For us, our interest was to establish that there was a lot of misrepresentation, it was misleading, it was in breach of the ethical standards but that has been upheld and I think we should let sleeping dogs lie,” he said.