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28.09.2005 General News

GJA: Phone-tapping unethical

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Accra, Sept. 28, GNA - The Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) on Wednesday, stated that any information gathering involving clandestine means such as eavesdropping or recording of private communication was unethical.

"Such methods of gathering information not only violate the privacy of the individual but are also clearly criminal," the GJA said in a statement signed by Ms Ajoa Yeboah-Afari, President of the Association. The GJA was commenting on claims by an Accra-based newspaper, the Vanguard, that it had been engaged in some form of phone-tapping as part of its news-gathering, regarding an alleged plot by a group in the National Democratic Congress (NDC).

The National Executive of the GJA has referred the Vanguard issue to the GJA Ethics and Disciplinary Council for consideration. The GJA reminded its members that under its Code of Ethics, information, photography and illustration were to be obtained only by "straightforward means".

It said in the interest of the profession, the GJA was appealing to non-members also to strive to uphold ethical, professional standards at all times.

"We also remind journalists that as responsible citizens, where they suspect or have evidence of foul play, they are required to report such issues to the Police for necessary action."