The Media Foundations for West Africa (MFWA) is blaming recent defamation cases filed against media houses in the country on “unprofessionalism” and sensationalism. Some media houses have been sued for defamatory publications.
A recent one is a defamation case against the Daily Guide newspaper for wrongfully publishing a picture of a lady in the alleged Asamaoh Gyan sex tape. The lawyer for the plaintiff is seeking GH¢600,000 in damages.
Another case has been filed by the youth organizer of the opposition New Patriotic Party, John Boadu against global publications, the publishers of the Republic newspaper over claims that the plaintiff has bought a Hyundai SUV vehicle worth $43,000 with his party’s cash. He is seeking GH¢50,000 general and exemplary damages, retraction and apology from the newspaper over the report.
Few cases have been recorded apart from these two in just a month. Speaking to Ultimate FM on the subject, Programs Officer at the Media Foundation for West Africa, Dora Boamah Mawutor said factors contributing to these happenings are the quest to be the first to put out a story and lack of training for journalists. “It’s a competitive market and each media house wants to be the first and by so doing, few blunders and factual inaccuracies are committed. If you are ready to cross check your facts you will be able to do the right thing, sometimes some of these are overlooked”.
Mrs. Mawutor conceded the media is doing well despite these short comings. “To the large extend the media is informing right. We have occasionally as an organization, had to complain about the media, the clergy, organizations and government have had course to complain. So there are successes and challenges. The use of abusive language is gaining prominence, insinuations and provocative languages and all these are not helping”.