The Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) has condemned an attack on United Television (UTV) by a group of hooligans on Saturday night.
The GJA said in a statement on Sunday that about 30 hooligans invaded the studios of UTV during the live broadcast of the “United Showbiz” entertainment program. They allegedly assaulted the Director of Photography and one of the producers of the program and left the hostess, other staff of the station and invited guests traumatized.
The GJA said the attack was “barbaric and medieval” and called on the Ghana Police Service to immediately arrest and prosecute the perpetrators.
The GJA also called on the government, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), civil society organizations (CSOs), diplomatic community, international agencies and all well-meaning Ghanaians to roundly condemn this barbaric act and the masterminds of same.
The GJA said it has taken notice of the apology rendered by the Director of Communications of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Richard Ahiagbah, on air when he went to UTV to broker peace.
However, the GJA said it can only place value on the sanctity of the apology and embrace it beyond rhetoric, if the party sanctions the perpetrators for doing something it did not sanction.
The GJA also said it is disturbing and unfortunate for the leadership of the NPP to direct one of its officers to write a letter to UTV demanding content reforms in respect of the “United Showbiz” program, when Article 162(4) of the 1992 Constitution frowns on control and interference by the Government [and any other authority] in the editorial opinion and content of media institutions.
The GJA also expressed disappointment with the Minister of Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, for failing to directly condemn the hooligans in his press statement on the incident.
The GJA said the Minister’s press statement is in sharp contrast to another one issued by the PR Unit of his Ministry on May 4, 2023, in respect of the attack on a radio presenter on Dagbon FM in Tamale by a communicator of the National Democratic Congress (NDC).
The GJA called on the media to be bold and never be intimidated by such acts of hooliganism, knowing that they serve the larger interest of the public.
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