Abdul Malik Kweku Baako Jnr, has berated government for boycotting Joy FM and JoyNews TV, following disagreements between it and the media outlets.
According to the Editor in Chief of the New Crusading Guide newspaper, that decision –although not formally communicated- lacks courage.
“It [the decision to boycott] is cowardly and (sic) unstrategic and I didn’t expect that to come from the NPP [New Patriotic Party,”] the veteran journalist angrily criticised while speaking on Newsfile programme on JoyNews Saturday, May 4.
JoyNews on March 7, broadcasted a documentary, ‘Militia in the heart of the nation’ showing an unlicensed security company and a militia group, De-Eye, conducting training at the Christianborg Castle, the former seat of government.
The 22-minute documentary showed a pro-New Patriotic Party (NPP) militia group training within the facility housing no fewer persons than appointees of the president.
Government through Information Minister, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, filed a formal complaint at the National Media Commission (NMC) on March 13, insisting JoyNews is bad-mouthing its administration in its attempt to clamp down on the activities of party militias that have seen government officials attacked, public offices closed down and a by-election turn violent.
Government, since the broadcast of the documentary which was produced by award-winning JoyNews undercover journalist, Manasseh Azure Awuni, has refused to send representatives to participate in discussions on programmes on Joy FM and Joy News TV.
Kojo Oppong Nkrumah had demanded an apology from The Multimedia Group Limited, owners of Joy FM and Joy News. Since then, producers of current affairs shows from the stations have been struggling to get appointees of the government, who are paid from the public purse, to contribute to public discussions.
Commenting on the government’s boycott, however, Kweku Baako urged the NPP administration, which he said is generally considered more friendly to the media compared to the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), to reconsider the decision because it will not yield any advantage.
“…if there’s any such policy, I’m appealing to government and the NPP to review it,” he advised.