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Opinions of Saturday, 13 July 2013

Columnist: Tweneboah-Koduah, Nana Akua

Was Joy News Trying To Play Mischief?

Ask Nana Akua Tweneboah-Koduah

Joy News planted a false story which had no iota of truth on its website, myjoyonline, on Wednesday July 10. The fabricated story which did not have any foundation or attribution was simply an attempt to create confusion and disaffection at the Presidency.

The story headlined, “Mahama Constitutes New Boards For TOR, NCA and NPRA”, sought to create the impression that President John Mahama has announced new board membership for Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) National Communications Authority (NCA) and the National Pensions Regulatory Authority (NPRA).

This self-created story even gave the brief backgrounds of those mentioned as members of the three boards. But quite amazingly, the story started by mentioning the supposed new chairman and a member of the board of TOR, and continued with some names of the newly constituted board of NCA which was boxed with some names of some current board members of the TOR.

One could not make the head or tail of that supposed story which did not come as a release from the office of the President as it is normally done. But when people started questioning the authenticity of the bogus story, myjoyonline suddenly pulled the story from its website.

On Thursday July 11, myjoyonline however released a retraction story stating that its attention has been drawn to the fact that the story on the newly constituted boards for TOR, NCA and NPRA is inaccurate.

But Joy News stated that they relied on one of its most trusted sources by publishing that false and bogus story. Who those trusted sources were still remains a mystery.

Even though Joy News rendered an apology, this story should not be made to go away that easily, as I call on the National Security to investigate who at the Presidency acted as the “most trusted source”.

If you look critically at the story, you could easily deduce that it was made to embarrass the President and that every effort should be made to unmask whoever was behind it. Such incidents have the tendency to create uneasiness and disaffection for President Mahama.

The apology from Joy News is accepted by the Presidency must go beyond it and out and sanction anybody who was responsible for that bogus story.

I also believe that the Presidency should register its strongest protest to Multimedia for publishing such a story without cross-checking it truthfulness. Joy News has the tendency of publishing such stories and GYEEDA stories that it splashed all over some months back should not escape any right thinking Ghanaian.

If the Presidency takes this story lightly, no one should be surprised if we wake up one day and read or listen from Joy News that the President has resigned. And I bet, some people are capable of doing that.

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