The Judiciary on Wednesday said it welcomes constructive criticisms from the media but they should be devoid of insults.
Justice Yonni Kulendi, a Justice of the Supreme Court, said the judges had no problem with the media critising their decisions but that criticism must be constructive and devoid of personality attacks.
“Criticise us, but let’s be circumspect in our criticism, it should be devoid of foul and improper language… don’t insult us,” he said.
“When judges speak, that is the end of our roles, it is not in our place to get into studios, into debates, commentaries, that responsibility falls to you (the media) let’s be constructive, we are happy to be criticised.”
“Criticise us as violently as you can but for Christ sake, don’t insult us. Don’t berate us, don’t speak hatred and don’t malign us.”
Justice Kulendi was addressing a joint press conference organised by the Judiciary and the Ghana Journalists Association in Accra.
He said when judges spoke, it was final, but the onus lay on the media to do a good job by disseminating the rulings to the public.
The press conference comes ahead of the Supreme Court’s judgement on the Election 2020 Petition on Thursday, March 4, 2021.
Justice Kulendi asked journalists to take “this phase of responsibility very seriously. It is as important as the role you have performed in transmitting the proceedings worldwide because at the end of the day, the people of Ghana owned the process.”
He commended journalists for their immense roles since the commencement of the Election Petition trial, adding that it was journalists who would break down issues and educate the public on the activities of the Judiciary.
He said it was true that journalists informed the public but in doing so they could misinform adding that journalists and judges had similar responsibilities, which must be discharged in the supreme interest of the nation.
”We need to properly inform the public. The Media and Judiciary are partners….,” Justice Kulendi said.
Mr Roland Affail Monney, the President of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA), asked media practitioners to avoid sensationalism and partisanship in disseminating rulings on the Election Petition.
“As professional journalists, we expect you not to tell your stories in a sensational manner. For the sake of national unity, cohesion and stability, let us exhibit the highest degree of circumspection so that Ghana would be at peace with herself and the rest of the world,” he said.
The GJA President commended journalists for demonstrating a high sense of professionalism in the Election Petition trial and said such skills must be deployed in communicating the rulings.
“Your coverage has made us proud as to the quality of journalists we have. Tomorrow, opportunity beckons us to put a seal on what we have done so well.”
The media bodies were the GJA, the National Media Commission, Private Newspaper Publishers Association of Ghana, and the Ghana Independent Broadcasters Association, represented by their respective heads.