A contentious dispute has arisen between the National Media Commission (NMC) and the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) over the GJA's recent call for media houses to blacklist two politicians accused of assaulting journalists.
The GJA declared a blackout on MP for Awutu Senya East, Mavis Hawa Koomson, and MP for Yendi Farouk Aliu Mahama, following allegations of attacks on journalists during the NPP's parliamentary primaries. However, the NMC Chair, Yaw Boadu Ayeboafo, criticized this approach as “dysfunctional and unproductive.”
Ayeboafo condemned assaults on journalists but urged victims to explore legal avenues instead of resorting to a general blacklisting of politicians. He argued that while attacks on journalists are unacceptable, unilateral decisions to boycott individuals may not be the most effective response.
In response, GJA President Albert Dwumfour expressed disappointment in Ayeboafo's comments, describing them as unfortunate. Dwumfour defended the GJA's decision, stating that extraordinary situations require extraordinary measures. He emphasized that the GJA had exhausted all relevant processes before issuing its directive and criticized Ayeboafo for not seeking clarification before chastising the GJA.
The dispute highlights the tension between media organizations and regulatory bodies in addressing attacks on journalists. With recent incidents of violence against journalists going unpunished, the debate underscores the challenges in ensuring accountability and protecting press freedom in Ghana.