Gov't's response to media reports can't be attacks on journalists – Okoe-Boye

Former Member of Parliament for Ledzokuku Dr. Bernard Okoe-Boye, has pointed out that he considers it fair for government to respond to information that is churned out by a media house to the public and should not be construed as an attack on journalists.

He said, the citizenry should be glad they have a media-sensitive government, that can only mean that government values the opinions of its citizens in the country.

Dr. Okoe-Boye said these in an interview with Johnnie Hughes on the New Day show on TV3, Wednesday, June 2.

He was reacting on the back of criticism against the President for his refusal to acknowledge the rampant attacks on journalists in the line of their duties and his attempts to equate such attacks on journalists as ‘criticisms’ that must be accepted in good faith.

“I have realized that sometimes when the media puts out a story which more or less goes against the government and remember it is not every story that goes against the government that might be so, in terms of the content. I think we should also not be naive, we should know that just as you say the media shapes the perception of the public, we could have a media house that throws something out there that may not be accurate. There are media houses that have come out to apologize publicly, there are tabloids that come out everyday to say, we are sorry, we retract,” he said.

He added “so the point is that, once that happens, we should not be surprised if government or those who speak for the government try to question or critique something that has been put out by a media house. We should not be so comfortable with what comes out of the media house but go out straight to attack the response that comes. Let the response come, let the media house also put out their response, the truth will always stand. So for me I really don’t have a problem if a media house put out a story and we come out with our side of the story, it is for the discerning listener to say that I have listened to TV3, I have also listened to government position but I think what TV3 says still holds, that should be left to the public.

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“We should start from that point, that it is fair for a government to respond to something that is put out there by a media house, that is not an attack on the media house. In fact, that is a sign of a vibrant and media sensitive government which we should even promote. What if we had the situation where whatever is put out there, the government doesn’t care? You need a government that appears to be listening to what is put out there in the media space and I will rather get excited that the president responds directly to what is discussed on a radio station. It means that what we discuss on radio and TV gets to the seat of government and that is the most important thing we should celebrate”.

By Barima Kwabena Yeboah||Ghana