Mahama justifies BNI invitation of Citi FM, Graphic bosses

President John Mahama has justified the questioning of two top media managers by BNI officials over the publication of the cocaine arrest in the UK.

Speaking at a national conference on broadcast pluralism, the President expressed disquiet about what he says is the increasing ethical violations being perpetuated by some media practitioners.

Citi FM boss, Samuel Atta Mensah and Editor of the Daily Graphic, Ransford Tetteh were on Monday invited and questioned by the BNI for publishing that the Ghanaian lady arrested in the UK with cocaine travelled on diplomatic passport.

According to the president, the publication lacked proper research and fact-finding.

"A Ghanaian stumbles across this story on social media. The broadcaster reports the alleged story in total without fact checking and posts the reported story on the station's website citing the source as the Nigerian news website.

"A website that a rudimentary internet search would within seconds prove does not actually exist.

"You begin to see the dangers that this type of journalism can pose to the society.

"Once it has been reported that this woman who is not a diplomat is in possession of a diplomatic passport, the Bureau of National Investigations had to perform its duties”.

“As irony will have it, the primary function of that institution is the pursuit of information for the security and safeguard of our nation and its citizens. In the investigations, the BNI narrowed down the stories to the original source of dissemination in Ghana to the Radio station and the Newspaper."

On the contrary, the BNI invitation has been criticised by some members in the media fraternity.

The Executive Director of the West Africa Network for Media Found Dr Sulemana Braimah said the invitation was unacceptable, an action that could only happen in Somalia and Afghanistan.

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