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General News of Tuesday, 23 December 2008

Source: True Democrat

Journalist Suspended For "Bias"

True Democrat intelligence has uncovered a grand plot by the NPP to ensure the clearing of the media stable of all journalists who refuse to sing the tune of sycophantic adulation of the NPP government and leadership. The plan which has already been put into motion involves various stages of punishing their victims. They range from mounting pressure on the management of state-owned media and those in which the government of Ghana has an interest to sack journalists believed to be critical of the NPP government and the party.

The plan also targets some for elimination in the event of NPP victory at the polls for personally pushing stories related to drugs to be carried on their networks. As part of the grand scheme to intimidate, sack and even kill those perceived to be anti-NPP journalists, the NPP government and party has succeeded in mounting pressure on the management of TV3 and Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC) to ask some of its senior editors to go on leave without any just cause. Under the first phase, the News Manager of TV3, Osei Boakye has been asked to proceed on leave unceremoniously and return on January 2, 2009, exactly a week after the presidential run-off. A similar Machiavellian execution style was used at GBC, which had seen the likes of Justice Mingle, Lily Defor, Joyce Anim-Ayeko, Sena Tsikata, Edwin Kumadzra and Tei Kitcher all of GBC all proceeding on leave for the simple reason that they are politically inclined towards the NDC.

In the case of Osei Boakye, our sources in TV3 revealed a concerted effort by the NPP government to arm-twist the hand of the management to get rid of him long ago. However, due to his immense experience and hard work, a few courageous members resisted the pressure. They resisted the hand of the 'evil' simply because they were then ' in the political off-season' as GBC management used to say when they want to decline an opposition party programme for which live coverage is needed outside the main 'political season' as has been defined by the management of GBC.

With the political temperature reaching the boiling point, the NPP, using its subtle manoeuvres tried to coerce most of the media houses and the journalists working therein to give them a blank-cheque to do what pleases it. They succeeded in cajoling GBC to go the extra mile to roll out the medium to them as if it is a political party station. In TV3, Osei Boakye, a known NPP sympathizer from his Free Press days had suddenly woken up to his professionals obligations. He has recently refused to sacrifice the principles espoused by such scholars as Ettema and Glasser, who insisted on fairness, balance and objectivity in news coverage for all the political parties irrespective of his known soft spot for the NPP. Osei Boakye, as the News Manager, therefore stood by this essential element of news gathering, analysis and reporting. His price for adhering to the ethos angered the NPP. Intense pressure upon pressure, our intelligence said, was mounted on the management to relieve him of his duties. It failed in the run-up to the December 7 elections but had succeeded this time around before next Sunday's presidential run-off. It took open threats from the seat of government for the management of TV3 to cave-in.

Prior to the December 7, 2008 elections, the NPP government and party had planned a complete control of the electronic media. A detailed plan to buy all the movers and shakers of action from management to editors and reporters was drawn. In the world of the NPP, money can buy anything except converting a man into a woman. It is from this monetary greed machine of corrupting every single soul in the political arena that the NPP set out to prosecute its campaign. Contrary to their crude capitalist mentality of everything is 'buyable' there are those with conscience and reputation to protect. Those who rejected their drug money as a bait to 'play ball' have become games primed for hunting on the premise of ensuring mindless conformism in their chapel of constitutional democracy.

Credible evidence available to the True Democrat further revealed how the management of GBC contrary to the laid-down procedure of applying for leave, filled the leave forms for Sena Tsikata, Joyce Anim- Ayeko, Edwin Kumadzra and Lily Defor among others. Our investigations confirmed that Amidu Chodi, the Director of Administration personally prepared the forms for these senior journalists and broadcasters. As the intelligence noted, these acts are part of grand plot by the NPP to silence independent-minded journalists determined to uphold the tenets of the profession of journalism and broadcasting as an impartial, balanced and fair trade. In the view of the intelligence sources, the resort to subterfuge, open threats to journalists started with then candidate J.A. Kufuor prior to the 1996 elections when he threatened journalists on the Daily Graphic with dire consequences if he won political power. Unfortunately, he lost. With eyes on him as to his next move, his NPP government changed tact and instead use covert methods to render perceived NDC journalists redundant while promoting their partisan and card-bearing appendages to various influential positions including editorship of the Daily Graphic. The intolerance and political bigotry of the NPP is back in full flight as witnessed recently through Jake Obetsebi Lamptey's silly letters to Radio Gold and Vibe Fm. The motive behind the letter warning these stations of bias is part of the overall strategy to target some of the practitioners for elimination when they retain power.

For the first stage of the plot has been unveiled and being executed in its crude form. Osei Boakye of TV3 has fallen victim, the senior journalists of GBC have been dealt with and the beam has switched to subtle threats on Radio Gold, Vibe Fm and perceived NDC newspapers.

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