The National Media Commission (NMC) has acknowledged a public apology rendered by Adom TV to the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and its flagbearer, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, for airing a video purporting to show the President taking bribe.
The Commission, however, warned that the post-facto admission of error does not take away the professional requirement for verification and fact-checking before publication.
It indicated that Adom TV failed to live up to the ethical standard required of a broadcaster when it took the decision to broadcast the video without prior verification.
The Commission took note of Adom TV’s public apology in which the station indicated that the video “was in fact, a video of the then-candidate Akufo-Addo in 2016 receiving a donation of USD$ 40,000.00 for his campaign.
In a statement issued on Sunday, December 6, 2020, the Commission noted that Adom TV was unfair to President Akufo-Addo and advised all media houses and journalists to exercise the greatest professional care and diligence in handling materials that have the capacity to affect public judgement of any candidate in the period most proximate to elections.
The Commission sat on Sunday as part of the expedited process announced in a press statement on December 2, 2020.
The matter was brought by the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and signed by the Chairman of the party’s Legal and Constitutional Committee, Mr. Frank Davies who also led the party’s team including Evans Nimako, Director of Research & Elections; Mr. Bright Okyere-Adjekum, Member of the Legal Directorate and Nana Adjoa Asante, also a Member of the Legal Directorate.
The Adom TV team made up of Mr. A.C. Ohene, Senior Editor and Mr. Abdulai Awudu, General Manager, informed the meeting that they had been instructed to attend the meeting as a sign of respect to the Commission and the complainant and that they had a limited mandate to ask for an adjournment to enable the station to arrange legal representation.
The Commission took the view that the concerns of the NPP had direct implications for the elections and therefore a postponement would be unjust.
The Commission noted that the concerns by the NPP and the text of the public apology by Adom TV provided enough materials for the conclusion of the matter under the Commission’s expedited process in elections matters.