A former Deputy Minister of Information in the previous National Democratic Congress (NDC) government, Ibrahim Murtala Muhammed, has taken a swipe at journalists in the country, saying the kind of mercenary and corrupt journalism some of them practice is the bane of the nation’s development.
According to Mr Murtala Muhammed, who is the Member of Parliament for Tamale Central, some journalists in the country are “fantastically corrupt”.
“You guys are very corrupt. You are fantastically corrupt,” he told host of Pan African TV’s morning show yesterday, claiming that many journalists in the country “are blackmailers” who cook up stories and seek to use them to extort money from their victims.
The Tamale Central legislator cited his own experience involving a journalist who had wanted to blackmail him when he was first appointed Deputy Minister of Information.
The journalists had, as he narrated, called him over a supposed rot he had presided over when he worked as the Executive Director of the defunct Ghana Youth Employment Development Agency (GYEDA).
He alleged that there are some senior journalists in the country whose newspapers are not patronised but own hotels in Accra. “Some own mansions in places where I cannot afford to buy land,” the MP added.
Making allusions to the parliamentary press corps, he said even though some of his colleagues in Parliament had been making ‘great’ statements and contributions on the floor of the House, they are not given attention in the media, all because “they are not able to give tips” to the reporters.
Laws must work
Meanwhile, the Inspector General of Police, Dr George Akuffo Dampare, has urged media associations to make it clear to their members that the law must be made to take its rightful course when journalists fall foul of the law.
He made the call when the Police administration met the leadership of media associations last Friday to discuss how the two groups can complement each other’s functions to promote peace and security in the country.
Dr Dampare also called on media institutions to boldly condemn unprofessional acts of journalists that border on criminality, saying failing to condemn such misconduct emboldens errant journalists to perpetuate them.