The Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) is demanding an unqualified apology from Blessed Godsbrain Smart, popularly known in the media industry as Captain Smart for making unsavoury comments against female television sports presenters.
It has also called on the Management of Media General to call Captain Smart to professional order in order not to call the positive image of the media institution into disrepute.
According to the GJA, Captain Smart alleged on his morning show on Accra-based Onua FM/TV and social media platforms that female television sports presenters had been “chopping” players of the senior national men’s football team, the Black Stars, which act, according to him, undermined the performance of the team at the World Cup in Qatar.
Relying heavily on such wild and scandalous allegation, he proceeded to call on the Ghana Football Association (GFA) to “stop all female TV presenters from following the Black Stars”.
In a statement signed by the General Secretary of the GJA, Mr Kofi Yeboah, the GJA said although Captain Smart made specific reference to female television sports presenters, it believes the gamut of, and extrapolation from, his comments, especially in their sweeping and baseless nature, is a severe, unwarranted attack on the morality, dignity and integrity of not only his subjects of reference but also female journalists in general.
“Indeed, we find the comments by Captain Smart sorely sexist, utterly unprofessional, grossly reprehensible, highly repugnant and extremely offensive to ethical and professional standards. Article 6 of the GJA Code of Ethics 2017 provides that “A journalist recognizes the public’s right to fair, unbiased, accurate, balanced and comprehensive information,” GJA stated.
It added that, “Also, Article 2(a) of the National Media Commission (NMC) Broadcasting Guidelines provides that “Information given in any programme, should be presented accurately, honestly and impartially”, while Article 5(c) provides that “Statements or information that could be ambiguous or misleading should be avoided.”
The GJA said it cherishes the professional integrity and hard work of female journalists which have yielded many works of positive impact.
“We are proud to celebrate female journalists like Portia Gabor and Juliet Bawuah, both of TV3, in the stable of Media General, who won the Journalist of the Year and Best Sports Journalist awards, respectively, at this year’s GJA Media Awards. No amount of derogatory comments, even from within the Media General stable, will lower our estimation and celebration of our fine female journalists,” GJA stated.
It said a few weeks ago, the Association had cause to condemn the crude manner operatives of the National Investigation Bureau arrested Captain Smart in public, adding that but today, it has a good reason to publicly denounce him for the crude manner he attacked the dignity and integrity of female journalists.
“We urge the Management of Media General to call Captain Smart to professional order in order not to call the positive image of the media institution into disrepute. The GJA wishes to reiterate that inasmuch as freedom of expression is an inalienable right, and the Association will continue to champion same, exercising such right recklessly is unconscionable, and that will not be countenanced,” GJA added.