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The Chairman of the National Media Commission, Yaw Boadu-Ayeboafoh has called on both the Ghana Journalists Association and the Judicial Service to be focused on working in the interest of the nation.
According to him, the Judicial Service has no control of the Media and vice versa adding that the brouhaha between the two institutions could have been handled better.
Speaking on Accra based Starr Fm yesterday, Mr Ayeboafoh also called on the GJA to take introspection and be mindful of how it responds to statements, especially from the Judiciary.
“The GJA must also take introspection and see because you can’t be fighting only on one side. The GJA can’t uphold freedom without looking at that side of responsibility. Maybe if the GJA had taken more time, the content from them would have been different. To say the [Judicial Service] statement is scandalous is a very harsh word.
“This statement however poorly crafted it is, is better than being cited for contempt…My position is that even if we say to the judiciary that they’re wrong including how the statement was crafted, we should demonstrate that we know better and not use the same language.
“The fact that my approach is different is not abominable, it’s an alternative. We must be more sober in the way we are responding so that people who are watching will know the difference between us and them. The judiciary doesn’t have control over the media and vice versa because we are all working in the interest of Ghanaians.”
Mr Ayeboafo’s comments come after the Judicial Service rejected claims by the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) that its recent statement asking the media to remove from their system incendiary and vengeful stories about judges on the election petition case constituted a threat to journalists.
A statement signed by the lawyer for the Judicial Service Thaddeus Sory said the GJA misled the public on the intention of the letter addressed to the media.
“I say that the heading is misleading to a point of embarrassment because, the statement issued by the Judiciary, acknowledges the right to free speech in so many paragraphs. Reference is made particularly to paragraphs 9 and 10 of the statement issued on behalf of the Judiciary,” the statement said.
The Judicial in a statement last week demanded the removal of stories that attacked judges on the election petition case from the systems of media houses.
“We must notify you, and we hereby do, that should you fail to heed our client’s demand as specified in paragraph 14 above, we have our client’s instructions to take appropriate action to ensure that you do not abuse the right to free speech by deploying and/or permitting your platform to be deployed in a manner that not only threatens our constitutional order and democracy but obviously, adversely interferes with the due administration of justice and also, brings it, into disrepute,” a part of the Judicial Service statement said.