Akufo Addo Lawyers Protest Against Graphic Reportage...Editor Replies - The Graphic Editor replies

...And Editor replies

Dear petitioners,

Clearly, when there are misrepresentations, we are under obligation to correct that impression in the minds of our readers. But even before the Constitution placed an injunction on us to carry mandatory rejoinders, we have been professional and credible and carried reactions from individuals, groups and institutions about whom reports have been carried.

We add again that as a human institution, we are not infallible but in many of the allegations being levelled against us, it is unfortunate that the petitioners did not read the June 6 and 7, 2013 reportage very well.

We invite our cherished readers to do a critique of those two publications in the face of the complaint of the petitioners (published on this page ) and if they have issues with us, they can also raise them. Perhaps, as is common in the Ghanaian society, the Daily Graphic has been pigeon-holed as a ‘government’ newspaper when the lawyers of the petitioners know that we are in a different dispensation now.

Nonetheless, it does not rest with any authority in this country to direct us or take our editorial judgement and independence from us as the rejoinder from the lawyers of the petitioners sought to do.

We are sure the petitioners and indeed all Ghanaians are appreciative of the efforts that journalists go through to summarise a six-hour sitting into a piece called news in the newspaper. It must be clear to the petitioners and all that our reportage is not a transcript of the court hearing.

We are also concerned about the fixation of the state-owned media. On the least opportunity, we are surprised that certain individuals are eager to remind us about our mandate as a state-owned media. We are very well aware of our mandate as a state-owned media.

The other day, on a certain radio station in Accra, some of the panellists counted and measured the pictures we had used on a court hearing on a particular page and concluded that we were biased. In journalism fairness, balance and accuracy do not require that we give equal space to all the parties.

Let us state again at least for the education of the uninitiated that the canons of journalism have not shifted the emphasis on professionalism depending on whether a publication is privately owned or state-owned. We are enjoined by the ethics of journalism to be professional and responsible.

Let the petitioners be assured that we shall not depart from the mandate to serve the society as professionally and responsibly as mandated by the constitution and the ethics of our profession.

We know the Constitution imposes a burden on us as a state-owned media. Largely because of our history, the framers of the constitution tried to avoid a repetition of the history when the state-owned media became a mouthpiece for government propaganda and were used by the government machinery to suppress dissenting voices. Be that as it may, we want to assure the petitioners not to entertain any idea of a deliberate attempt to distort or dilute the force of their argument in court.

We shall continue to report fairly and accurately on the petition hearing to the best of our knowledge. After all, the law is not in the bosom of the Daily Graphic. We can only present the issues to the bar of public opinion.

Source: Daily Graphic



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