The Private Newspapers and Online News Publishers Association of Ghana (PRINPAG), has called on the police to swiftly arraign the 16 persons arrested for invading the studio of Accra-based UTV, before a court of competent jurisdiction to serve as a deterrent to others.
This call comes in response to the attack on the host and guests of United Showbiz programme by some alleged NPP youth.
In a statement issued on Sunday, PRINPAG described the attack as unfortunate.
“As an Association of media owners, we abhor these attacks on journalists and media houses in the country and we condemn the attack in no uncertain terms and without any reservation. We are concerned about the continued occurrence of such acts in a country that used to boast proudly of its rankings on global press freedom indexes.” the statement noted.
It encouraged journalists in Ghana not to be deterred by such incidents, but to remain committed to their work as the Fourth Estate of the realm, adhering to the ethics of their profession without fear or favour.
“We wish to further encourage journalists in the country not to be frightened or cowed by these incidents, rather, they should resolve to do their work as the Fourth Estate of the realm without fear or favor going by the ethics of their profession.” The statement added
Furthermore, PRINPAG expressed concern that incidents like the one at UTV on Saturday night could undermine confidence and reverse progress made in achieving positive rankings in future press freedom indexes.
“It is important to note that, recently Ghana dropped two places – from 60th in 2022 to 62nd in 2023 in the annual Global Press Freedom ranking by Reporters Without Borders (RSF), and a deliberate action to restore hope on the Ghanaian media landscape is urgently needed. However, actions such as what occurred at UTV on Saturday night further enhances the deterioration of confidence and erodes all gains made in achieving a positive ranking in the years ahead.” the Statement emphasized
However, it found solace in the swift action by the police, stating, “It is however heart-warming to hear that, the police moved in swiftly to arrest 16 members of the thugs to avert a possible bloodbath.”