General News of Tuesday, 18 September 2012
Source: Daily Guide
A civil advocacy group, Centre for National Affairs (CNA) has claimed that the ruling National Democratic (NDC) has compromised about 10 senior journalists in the country by dolling out cash and properties worth an average of GHC 500, 000 to each of them.
A senior policy analyst at the CNA, Rocky R.E. Obeng told Daily Guide on telephone Thursday, that his organization has identified these journalists and have offered them the option of either publicly announcing their support for the NDC or exiting the profession.
He indicated that if they failed to comply with this suggestion, the CNA would go public with the evidence in its possession.
Mr. Obeng gave a clue that these journalists, who also doubled as regular guests on radio and television, were initially intensely critical of the NDC government, particularly when John Evans Atta Mills was still President.
However, these yet to be named journalists, suddenly reversed their criticism when President John Mahama assumed the presidency, apparently because of the alleged inducements.
CNA in a press statement signed on Thursday by Mr. Obeng to articulate the CNA's allegations, stated: “CNA has observed of late that respected senior journalists, who were once known for their objectivity and critical analysis, have suddenly seen nothing important about being critical of persons in government and the presidency. Our media research team is amazed at the findings where some of these respected journalists have metamorphosed into public relations officers for the presidency, if not the ruling party”.
The CNA policy analyst hinted that the evidence have been copied to the National Media Commission (NMC).
“I am putting the figure [of the journalists] at not less than 10 that we have credible evidence-video tapes, audio recordings etc, and we have approached the National Media Commission with it”.
No amount of goading could persuade Mr. Obeng to disclose the identity of these individuals.
However, he offered to say that the CNA was currently in possession of documentary and video evidence to back their claims. “We are watching them”, he told Daily Guide.
He said the unidentified journalists have used friends to front for the transfer of the cash and properties from the John Mahama led NDC.
Mr. Obeng hinted that some of the journalists have recently gone to claim the goodies.
“Of course, they may have the right to do so, but CNA believes in doing so, they would have most certainly compromised the scared responsibility and the ethics of their profession.
The media research unit of CNA noted that the allegation of cash dole outs to key media practitioners has been common in recent times and is widely confirmed by junior practitioners who complain about editorial improprieties”, stated the CNA.
“Regrettably, CNA is not in a position to stop monetary inducement to such journalists but in a position to publish this research finding in order to revive the volunteerism spirit practitioners of the profession exhibited through very daring moments of our national life”.
The CNA was a civil society groups set up in 2011 with the task of improving governance, accountability and transparency in the public sector. It has been in the forefront of several advocacies since its inception.
It recently dragged the Attorney General and Minister of Justice to the Supreme Court to clear his name in an allegation of perjury when he claimed a bullet was fired into his vehicle in 2010; a claim that has been disputed by police forensic findings as false.