The Media Foundation for West Africa has described the conduct of Presidential Staffer, Stan Dogbe, as “embarrassing and shameful, particularly because of his status as a presidential staffer and a former journalist.”
Stan Dogbe reportedly attacked a GBC reporter, Yahaya Kwamoah, seized his voice recorder and destroyed it beyond repairs. The incident happened at the 37 Military Hospital the day presidential correspondents were involved in the fatal accident. President of the Ghana Journalists Association and Director of Radio at GBC, Affail Monney, told Manasseh Azure Awuni that Stan Dogbe had admitted committing the offence and promised to replace the recorder.
Below is the full press statement issued by the Media Foundation for West Africa.
The Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) is appalled by the recent assault on Yahya Kwamoah, a reporter of the state-owned Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC) by presidential staffer Stan Dogbe.
Media reports corroborated by Director of Radio at the GBC, Affail Monney, indicate that Stan Dogbe seized and smashed a voice recorder of the journalist who had gone to the 37 Military Hospital to follow up on an accident involving the presidential press corps.
Director of Radio, Affail Monney who confirmed the incident to the MFWA, said the reporter has made a formal report to Management and that the issue is being investigated.
The MFWA finds Dogbe’s conduct rather embarrassing and shameful, particularly because of his status as a presidential staffer and a former journalist. Dogbe should be the last person to antagonise the media, knowing the difficult conditions under which journalists in Ghana work and the important role they play in advancing our democracy.
We are also alarmed at the silence on this matter by GBC whose employee is the victim of the assault. Given that assault is a criminal offense, we urge the Management of GBC to report the matter to the police for investigations. We also call on the Presidency to demonstrate its commitment to the protection of journalists by conducting a thorough investigation into the conduct of Stan Dogbe in this matter and taking the appropriate action.
Finally, the MFWA urges media practitioners to assert themselves and go about their duties with dignity and professionalism at all times in order to earn the respect they deserve from the public. Media organisations should equally take the necessary action to promote the safety of their employees.
Issued by the MFWA in Accra on September 1, 2015.
The MFWA is a regional independent, non-profit, non-governmental organization based in Accra. It was founded in 1997 to defend and promote the rights and freedom of the media and of expression.