Citing instances to buttress his argument, the ‘Chairman General’ indicated that it was unethical for television stations, particularly UTV and Metro TV, to have shown gory pictures of dead bodies from the recent floods and gas explosion in Accra on Wednesday June 3, 2015.
Ace broadcast journalist, Kwame Sefa Kayi has scolded UTV and other media houses for showing gory pictures of dead bodies from the June 3 floods and gas explosion in Accra.
Speaking on Peace FM’s Entertainment Review show, the ‘Chairman General indicated that it was unethical for any media house to show gory pictures without any kind of censorship or cautioning viewers before broadcasting.
He stated that the media has lost its ethical standards on how information is packaged for its audience.
“I don’t think we are losing our ethical standards. For me, we’ve already lost it. It is gone because I had a case with my own people UTV so I will start from my own house. The way UTV broadcast some of the pictures was not good at all. It was in a very bad taste, especially when they gave close up shots of the faces of burnt and charred bodies of dead people live on television…it was very worrying,” he chastised the television station.. Seriously I was not too happy when I saw those pictures on TV,” he said.
He also pointed that although Daily Guide was one of the newspapers that published similar pictures, theirs were better since they did not show any faces. He stated categorically that the media erred in that regard.
“I know that as journalists we bring the report as it is and sometimes it is good to give the true picture of what is really happening but when you are going to do something like that you warn viewers ahead, but this was shown early morning at about 7am when people were preparing to go out and they put on their TV’s and this is what they see. I think is inappropriate”, he said.
He added: “Beyond ethics there is common sense and there is sensitivity as well as sensibility. People’s dead sons and daughters, people’s wives and mothers and people’s husbands and fathers and their faces are being shown on national television. I think this hasn’t helped in anyway, especially the traditional media we didn’t help ourselves at all with this”.
On what could be done to ensure the ethics are observed, Sefa Kayi said, “the ability to bring the story to the listener, the viewer or the reader without necessarily being graphic is how we can report for the audience to get the story and enjoy with some ease. We don’t have to show bloody pictures with people’s intestines gushing out of their stomach. There are so many ways of doing this and I am very sure the Editors in the various Newsrooms have creative senses and professional ethics that can go into thinking deeply through every report before it is broadcast or published to the audience and even if it is really necessary to show such graphic pictures we should give advanced warning to viewers before showing it”.