Accra, Dec. 4, GNA – The Government on Wednesday described as inadequate and unacceptable, the lack of prominence given to an apology purported to have been rendered to President John Dramani Mahama by myjoyonline.com over an earlier publication in which it stated that the “Presidency stopped Merchant Bank from recovering debts from company owned by president’s brother”.
A press release signed by Mr Felix Kwakye Ofosu, Deputy Minister of Information and Media Relations, and copied to the Ghana News Agency indicated that the attempted apology by the online media outlet was inadequate to “undo the damage that the initial misleading publication” had done to the image of the Presidency in particular and the country as a whole.
The release stated: “Government is alarmed that after demonstrating gross unprofessionalism by making such a malicious publication without recourse to the Presidency for clarification and deliberately distorting information available to them in a manner that sought to impugn the integrity of the President, Joy FM and myjoyonline.com would adopt such a half-‐hearted approach towards correcting the erroneous impression their story created.”
It noted that this was not the first time that Joy FM and myjoyonline.com had failed to meet basic journalistic and broadcasting standards of double-checking information before publication.
“Joy FM has adopted a strategy of putting out one-‐sided damaging stories about Government and subsequently asking Government to respond. When the response suggests otherwise, an obscure apology is rendered by which time damage has already been done to Government’s reputation. This unwholesome practice by Joy FM suggests a deliberate ploy to make Government unpopular with a view to promoting a regime change”.
The release demanded a full, unqualified apology from the two media entities that will be given the same prominence that the original publication received, “failing which steps would be taken to seek redress in the matter.”