Private legal practitioner, Kwame Jantuah has urged media houses not to allow individuals to make unacceptable comments on their platforms.
Speaking to the topic as to whether “free speech is under threat or it is a case of a surge in irresponsible media” on The Forum on Asaase Radio on Saturday (19 February), Jantuah indicated that media houses must take the responsibility of whipping out irresponsible commentaries from their platforms.
He said: “In terms of press freedom, there’s a responsibility; the fact that the constitution gives you the chance to exercise your franchise as a media house and as the Fourth realm of the State doesn’t mean that you can allow people to make reckless comments. And one thing probably you’ll be able to educate me; the provisions that protect the media and the constitution, do they protect the panelists who come on the stations?”
“…Can you say they protect the panelists, especially when the panelists are not part and parcel of the fabric of the organisation? Because if it does, if anybody is coming to arrest me for saying something, I can say that I said it on this media house and this media house is protected by the constitution,” he stated.
Sulemana Braimah, the executive director of the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) has said the Ghanaian media is under siege following the recent arrest of some personalities including media practitioners for false publication.
At least three individuals including the executive director of ASEPA Mensah Thompson and governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) Bono regional chairman Kwame Baffoe (popularly known as Abronye DC), are currently being tried in court over statements they made in the media that the police say amount to false publications.
Speaking to Kofi Abotsi on Townhall Talk on Asaase Radio 99.5FM on Friday (18 February), Braimah said: “So, if a journalist feels that, ‘what is happening makes me unsafe and I am likely to be picked or to be arrested or to be beaten or bullied,’ then it leads to self-censorship and of course even if the person does not self-censor, he may or she may put out what he may put out there with fear.”