The Fear To Be A Journalist In Ghana
It came as a big surprise to many that just few days after celebration of WORLD FREEDOM DAY, the world basically marked it here in Ghana. It was a day that savored by especially JOURNALISTS in this country, to celebrate, instruct and inform the general public against the abuse of Journalists.
It demonstrated that Ghana has come of age in the area of entrenching press freedom and understand the work of Journalists in a better dimension.
After all this celebration was when a journalist with the multimedia group of company specifically Adom FM by name Ohemaa Sakyiwaa was physically abused, attacked in the line of her duty at the headquarters of the New Patriotic Party by a senior follower of the party by name Hajia Fati, a staunch party faithful for no wrong committed to the extend that, her gadgets were all destroyed.
Very unfortunate development to say the least, for a country touted as the beacon of democracy in Sub-Saharan African ;a country recently adjudged Africans leading PRESS FREEDOM COUNTRY;a country that only days ago hosted the global community to celebrate press freedom, deliberate and explore ways of improving media freedom and development over the world.
As a young Journalist, I had it very difficult convincing my parents to accept my profession and grant me wish to go study and make the best out of it all because of treatment heard against Journalists. Was forced to change my profession to another else won’t get their support.
World Press Freedom Day celebration in Accra demonstrated that, Ghana has come of age in the area of entrenching press freedom and as well adhere to better treatment to Journalists. That notwithstanding, recent attacks on Ghanaian Journalists are not only worrying but also threaten press freedom,it places fear and panic in the minds and hearts of Journalists, both young and old.
It is sudden and seem these incessant attacks are the order of the day with officialdom virtually doing nothing concrete about it.
The attack on investigative Journalist LATIF IDDRISU, same worker at the multimedia group of companies specifically JOY NEWS over some months now is still pending with no results from the police. The gentleman is suffering at his home with the skull damaged, affecting him on daily basis, nothing better done, the culprits are enjoying life to the highest level whiles the media personality suffers.
The question that arise is, are we safe as Journalists in a country like Ghana?
Many including maybe you may be thinking is a premature question, believing and alluding to the fact that these are only pockets of attacks. The fact and truth on the ground is that, these are not just isolated cases! ALMOST on a weekly basis, we hear reports of JOURNALISTS being assaulted or abused in one form or the other.
Hajia Fati abuse on the Adom Fm Journalist is one of the current incident and afterwards, the defence that was spewed out was that shocking. She thought the Adom Fm reporter was one of the onion sellers at the market. Like seriously?
That very statement from the Strong NPP activist is not only insulting but also more importantly abusive and derogatory! So basically she’s telling us that the onion seller at the market deserve such impunity? Or that onion seller in this country Ghana have no rights?? Also license are being given to people to slap and disrespect onion sellers???
For me writing this article, there is absolutely NO justification for Hajia Fati to resort to that life of action including any individual to think of abusing Journalists.
Attacking a journalist in line of duty is way beyond committing a tragic incident, abusing the rights of the Journalist. We can’t be in a country, claim goodness to press freedom and end of day, threaten the lives of these individuals spreading various news to the general public.
INASMUCH as the New Patriotic Party condemned the act, it should not and cannot end there. I want to see a situation where leadership of this country will be firm in taking disciplinary actions against any individual who go overboard in dealing with affairs of Journalists. They should not be left FREE. That will certainly help reduce these barbaric attacks on Journalists.
The walls and handles of many Journalists on social media were in red flags – – – one voice, condemning the act of the thug and demanding the protection of journalists.
But as the fourth estate of the realm, we wield a stronger power through our watchdog role and agenda-setting capacity to sneeze even the loudest informing and entertaining towards ensuring participatory, transparent and accountable governance in Ghana. There certainly cannot be any democracy or democratic state without a vibrant and quality media.
RESPECT JOURNALISTS, STOP THE ABUSE ON US FOR WE ARE HUMANS AS YOU’RE. STOP TORMENTING AND DAMAGING US. HAVE SANITY AND VALUE ON THE PROFESSION.