Press freedom Media houses must cause Stan to be sacked- Prof. Gadzekpo

She says in “any serious democracy, he (Stan Dogbe) would have been fired immediately” after he destroyed the recorder of a Ghana Broadcasting Corporation reporter.

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Journalism Professor, Audrey Gadzekpo, wants media houses in Ghana to put pressure on President John Mahama to dismiss his press aide, Stan Dogbe.

She says in “any serious democracy, he (Stan Dogbe) would have been fired immediately” after he destroyed the recorder of a Ghana Broadcasting Corporation reporter.

The reporter was at the 37 Military Hospital to report on an accident involving the presidential press corps which killed one journalist.

The Ghanaian Times reporter Samuel Nuamah died instantly when the vehicle conveying members of the presidential press corps from Ho to Accra crashed.

Several others were injured in the accident and were sent to the 37 Military Hospital for treatment.

The GBC reporter, Yahaya Kwamoah, recorded a conversation between Communications Minister Dr. Omane Boamah and head of the Communications Bureau at the Presidency, Stan Dogbe.

“As a very good journalist that he is, Yahaya thought he could also nose around,” GBC Director of Radio Roland Affail Monney explained to Joy News’ Manasseh Azure Awuni.

“But the meeting wasn’t meant for media consumption”, Mr. Monney who is also President of the Ghana Journalist Association said.

When the journalist’s attention was drawn to the fact that it was a private discussion, he retreated from the two.

“While he was walking away, Stan Dogbe chased him…..seized his recorder and smashed it,” the GJA President said.

“Stan did not deny that this is what happened,” Mr. Affail Monney revealed but stressed that Stan Dogbe had promised to replace the recorder.

Commenting on the issue on Joy FM and MultiTV's news analysis programme, Newsfile, Prof. Gdzekpo said nothing could justify Stan Dogbe's conduct.

"In any serious democracy, he would been fired immediately. I mean this would not be a case for debate. He would be sacked because he speaks on behalf the Presidency, he represents the president and the president will have to ask himself, what does this say about my commitment to press freedom if my presidential staffer who is supposed to liaise with journalists, himself attacks journalists for whatever reason"?  

The Dean of the School of Communications Studies of the University of Ghana, Legon, said the media in Ghana we can take a cue from Aljazeera when their journalists were imprisoned and consistently call for the dismissal of Stan Dogbe.

"I think that every single day...the media should repeat the call on the president to fire Stan Dogbe because he has violated the very basics of respect for the press by attacking a journalist," she stated.

Prof. Gadzekpo maintained that no matter how egregious the offence, the Presidential Staffer had no right to take the action that he took.

She is particularly surprised by the lack of outrage by the Ghana Journalists Association.

"I was surprised that immediately the incident happened the GJA executive, led by their president, did not [condemn it], particularly because of who was responsible." Prof Gadzekpo said.

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