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09.09.2004 General News

GBC Board Recalls Four Journalists

GBC Board Recalls Four Journalists
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Accra, Sept. 8, GNA - The Board of Directors of the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation on Wednesday recalled four out of the five journalists "interdicted" over a news story they put out on the Ghana Airways saga. It described as unfortunate the term "interdiction" applied to the journalists, a statement issued and signed by Professor Stephen Adei, the Board Chairman said. Mr Charles Kofi Bucknor, the Director of Television involved in the case was asked to be on leave instead of interdiction because he was the one who has the ultimate responsibility for the output of the television division. The other four are: Mr Emmanuel Vorgbe, Editor-In-Chief, Mr Francis Sasu, Assistant Chief Editor, Nana Yaw Doudu, and Mr Solomon Ayiah, a Contract Journalist. In a six-point decision arrived at, the GBC Board had taken jointly with the GBC management said it ratified the decision by management to ask the five people concerned from the "newsroom not to be on duty until the matter was properly investigated." It said, "However, the opinion that the use of the term "interdiction" which was used to relieve the workers of their positions to ensure uninterrupted investigation was unfortunate since in the GBC Collective Bargaining Agreement and the Management Staff Conditions of Service, the process of interdiction was linked to criminal investigations. "The Board therefore, decided that the period of "interdiction" should be converted to leave with full pay." The Board said in the interim, Mrs. Bridget Abadji, Deputy Director of Television was to act as Director of Television until otherwise decided. The Board said the four to be recalled were to be given written warning/caution to refrain from conducting themselves in a similar manner in the future and that they were to be reassigned. It said the decisions were arrived at after consideration to statements, reactions and reports on the matter by Internal Committee of Enquiry after the Ghana Journalists Association, and the Minority in Parliament and the National Media Commission had made pronouncements on the issue. "The Board noted with grave concern the statements issued by the Minority, the GJA, the National Media Commission (NMC), which cannot appoint a Board and Chief Executive Officer and interfere with an essentially management issue," as well as the Minister of Information. The Board therefore, said its decisions were what management of GBC was directed to implement and therefore, every other directive from any source including the NMC was only an advice to the Board. "Anything contrary would be contrary to sound corporate governance principles.
"The Board considers the broadcast of the news item complained about as unprofessional and irresponsible and that the action and inaction of the persons interdicted in the matter have had a major negative effect on the corporate image of the GBC as a credible national broadcaster," it said.

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