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The INFORMER’s Ethnocentric Publication: Classic Example Of Unprofessional Journalism   
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The Media Foundation for West Africa has read with utter dismay a story titled: Used and Dumped, Voltarian Dotse Swerved - which was published in the May 15-16 edition of The Informer newspaper.

The publication under reference did not just speculate but claimed, without providing any facts, that Supreme Court Judge, Justice Jones Dotse, was overlooked for the post of Chief Justice of Ghana because he is from the Volta Region.

The newspaper also alleged, again without any concrete evidence, that Justice Dotse had been manipulated to do the bidding of the New Patriotic Party as a Justice of the Supreme Court only for him to be disappointed when the party was expected to reward him with the post of Chief Justice.

This kind of publication is not only unethical, ethnocentric and demeaning of a very senior person of the judiciary but also and more importantly, it is the kind of bad journalism that is very dangerous for press freedom,” said Sulemana Braimah, Executive Director of the MFWA.

The MFWA wonders what the editors of The Informer newspaper sought to achieve by the obviously unprofessional publication and the blatant attempt to divide Ghanaians along ethnic lines.

Only one Ghanaian from among the Justices of the Supreme Court or from outside the Court could have been named Chief Justice and he or she would certainly belong to one ethnic group and come from a particular region.

What is important is for the media to focus on the qualification, competence and merits of whoever is appointed to the high office. Indeed, if there are any issues that make an appointee unfit, unqualified and incapable of holding the office, the media have a responsibility to highlight those deficiencies in the exercise of their constitutionally mandated watchdog role.

The MFWA’s continuous advocacy for press freedom is anchored on the belief that the media have a crucial role in strengthening and consolidating transparent, accountable and participatory governance that results in inclusive development. But bad journalism, such as exhibited by The Informer newspaper in the publication under reference constitutes a major setback to efforts at consolidating press freedom.

The media should be focused in strengthening institutions and building cohesion rather than weakening institutions and sowing seeds of disunity through partisan, unprofessional, sensational publications.

The MFWA calls on the National Media Commission to assert its authority in enforcing ethical and professional standards in the media. Publications such as The Informer’s is a classic lesson in how not to do journalism and the editors of the newspaper need to be reminded and brought to order by the NMC.
Source: Peacefmonline.com/Ghana

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