Sloppy journalism seems to increasingly be taking root at the Multimedia Group, with the company taking another dent to its credibility after its flagship, Joy Fm, was cited for misleading reportage by the National Media Commission.
The Commission called a recent documentary about vigilantism aired by the network with the title ‘Castle Militia’ as misleading and inaccurate.
The ‘Castle Militia’ documentary, which sought to shine a light on supposed vigilantism at the former seat of government (The Castle), went overboard in sensationalizing occurrences, adding photos and videos which had no connection to its subject matter and was ultimately misleading.
This was contained in a ruling issued by the Media Commission following a government complaint on the Joy documentary authored by Manasseh Azure.
In a statement, the NMC said “the investigation had not been consistent in following the ethical standards defined by the Ghana Journalists Association code of ethics, particularly guidelines 23 which states that a journalist ensures that photographs and multimedia content adequately reflect an event and do not highlight an incidence out of context.
“This resulted from the fact that whereas the respondent used a photo from a BBC report on an attack on the Nigerian senate to promote the documentary online, they failed to relate it appropriately.”
Further problems with the documentary were outlined by the Commission.
“The inclusion of shots from the Ayawaso West Wuogon violence and attack on the Ashanti Regional Security Coordinator were at variance with the activities of the D-Eye Group as captured at the Castle. The Commission concluded that there was no predisposition to violence in the documentary. Therefore, the association of the D-Eye Group with the Ayawaso West Wuogon Violence and the BBC story from Nigeria, were sensational.
“On the issue when the D-Eye Group exited the Castle, whilst the Government insisted that the group was evicted in October 2018, the Multimedia Group insisted that it was after the documentary that the eviction was carried out.
“Again, whereas Multimedia provided evidence of attempts by government officials to remove the group from the Castle, it still associated the President with the group and the Commission held that it was unfair especially when the Multimedia Group later publicly apologized to the President.” it added.
Consequently: “The Commission is of the view that whereas it finds the presence in the Castle of the D-Eye Group problematic and unacceptable, the group did not manifest any violent conduct to be described as a militia or vigilante group from the documentary as the people of Ghana have come to identify such groups.
“The Commission finds the commentary on the documentary and the association with the Ayawaso West Wuogon violence as misleading and a misrepresentation. However, because the Multimedia Group published a rejoinder from the Government, we direct that it publishes our ruling.”
This is only the latest in a line of recent mishaps by Joy Fm in particular, which has been forced to issue rejoinders or apologize in several high profile cases where they got things wrong, with a recent example involving the Deputy Minister of Education, Dr Adutwum.
For one of the biggest stations in Ghana, their credibility is vastly plunging into the sewers – and nothing shows it’s going to change anytime soon.