His comments come after the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) released a statement in reference to the Judicial Service’s directive to the media to trash all negative reportage of the Judiciary that disparage the judges in the ongoing election petition.
President of the GJA reacting to the Judicial Service noted that the “Judiciary is not immune from criticism” and as such the statement by the judicial Service is “scandalous which is a threat to media freedom in Ghana”.
However, Awudu Mahama believes that the media will be overreacting if it views the statement by the Judicial Service as a threat.
Speaking to Samuel Eshun on the Happy Morning Show, he expressed: “Sometimes the way we react to issues as the media is not the best. The statement issued by the Judicial service is only cautioning media people that we should be circumspect in what we write. What is gagging in this? I have spoken on this election petition hearing on various media networks but I never scandalized the court. It is the way you speak or you write about issues pertaining to the hearing or any other court matter that will determine whether you are scandalizing the court or not.
While we bring information about the court hearing to the doorstep of the people, we should be mindful of our limits. If you read some of the stories on some portals; the way people insult judges and they scandalize the court, I think you will be worried even as a media person. So, this not to gag anybody, we know what to do and we have ethics of the profession”.
The Judicial Service has advised the media to be circumspect in their reportage on the ongoing election petition. The Service also asked media houses to remove all stories that disparage judges in the ongoing election petition from their system.
“In the light of the foregoing, we have our client’s instructions to demand, and we hereby so do that, as most responsible media institutions now do regarding incendiary and spiteful publications, you immediately pull or cause to be pulled down and cleared from your platforms, all statements and speeches which convey and/or insinuate hateful, spiteful, vengeful and incendiary communication against Justices of our client especially those hearing the election petition,” lawyers of the Judicial Service wrote to Media houses.
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