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05 July 2016

Attack on judges: Media Foundation boss questions NMC’s loud silence

Kwasi-Gyan-ApentengThe Executive Director of the Media Foundation for West Africa is criticizing what he says is the loud silence of the National Media Commission in the face of the media threats on the lives of judges.

Sulemana Braimah said given the clout the media regulator has, it must be seen to be proactive in dealing with some of the ethical breaches in the media.

His comments follow the arrest of two panelists- Mr Alistair Nelson and one Godwin Ako Gunn- alleged to have threatened the lives of the Supreme Court judges.

The two in discussing the voter’s register  controversy currently before the Supreme Court threatened to eliminate the judges who they claim do not want peace in the country.

They made the comments, a day before the judiciary celebrated the Martyres Day in commemoration of the killing of three judges in 1982.

Their comments have since received widespread condemnation. However, the National Media Commission tasked with the statutory mandate to ensure professionalism and high journalistic standards has been quiet on the matter.

Speaking to Joy News the Executive Director of the Media Foundation for West Africa Sulemana Braimah said he is yet to see a statement from the Commission condemning the utterances of the two panelists.

He said the NMC’s loud silence is “worrying” especially due to the critical role the commission plays in ensuring professionalism in the media.

He said if the GJA, could push for something to be done in respect of sanitizing the media landscape, the NMC with its constitutional backing can do far more.

Even though he admitted that the NMC has limited powers in taking drastic measures against offending media houses, he said the media regulator can partner with the National Communications Authority to withdraw licenses of media houses whose activities threaten the security of the country.

He said “the NMC must take all steps to ensure professionalism in the media.”

Sulemana Braimah is convinced the comments by the two panelists were criminal and should be dealt with according to law.

He also raised issues about the growing trend in allowing politicians to own radio stations in the country.

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