The General Secretary of the Ghana Journalists Association, Mr. Kofi Yeboah says Citi FM/Citi TV journalist, Caleb Kudah, broke no code of ethics in journalism in filming some abandoned vehicles around the National Security premises. Mr. Yeboah’s position contradicts that of the President of the Association, Affial Monney who in an interview said Caleb Kudah was in breach of the Association’s Code of Ethics. Mr. Monney made the remarks in the wake of the assault of the journalist at the hands of National Security operatives for filming the abandoned vehicles.
“Caleb erred, as far as our ethics is concerned. He clearly breached the ethics relative to Article 13 of our own Code of Ethics which specifies that journalists should take pictures through fair, straight forward and honest means unless tampered by national interest. His interest here is not so clear. From the face of it, we believe he erred.” the GJA President said in an interview with Accra based Joy FM.
Mr. Monney’s remarks have drawn widespread criticisms from the inky fraternity and some legal practitioners.
The latest to counter Mr. Monney’s position is his General Secretary, Kofi Yeboah who took to Facebook under the alias Kofi Ambidextrous, to express his views. According to the Mr. Yeboah, Caleb Kudah actions were in the national interest thus, was not in breach of any code of ethics.
Read his full Facebook post below
Caleb Kudah DID NOT violate any journalism ethics in filming at a national security facility. Insofar as the public/national interest was at stake (as evidenced in his narrative), he was firmly within the bounds of journalism ethics, including Article 13 of the GJA Code of Ethics. Article 13 enjoins journalists to use straightforward and honest means when seeking information, “UNLESS TAMPERED BY NATIONAL INTEREST”.
Caleb was absolutely covered by the caveat in this provision because he was working in the public/national interest. The nebulous identity of ‘national security’ cannot, and should not, be allowed to strip the media off its cardinal constitutional mandate under Article 162(5): “All agencies of the mass media SHALL, at ALL TIMES, be FREE to uphold the principles, provisions and objectives of this Constitution, and SHALL uphold the responsibility and accountability of the Government to the people of Ghana”.
There’s a good reason the framers of the 1992 Constitution assigned this constitutional mandate to the media. And the late CJ F. K. Apaloo had underlined that reason in profound terms way back in 1999 when he delivered the Keynote Address at the Annual New Year School at the UG (which I covered as a young reporter at GBC Radio News). Caleb’s job fits that ‘Bill of Reasoning’
Let’s break the ‘Culture of Silence’ in order not to breed a ‘Culture of Violence’!
Let’s encourage civility and the rule of law, which are trademarks and honorifics of constitutional governance rather than brute and barbarism, which are hallmarks and horrifics of military juntas; otherwise there’s no difference. Absolutely none!