20.04.2006 General News

Ashanti GJA puts media blackout on KNUST

20.04.2006 LISTEN

The Ashanti Regional branch of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) has declared a media blackout on activities of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) in Kumasi until further notice.

This followed the continuous maltreatment, harassment and intimidation of journalists and other media practitioners who go to the university to cover official assignments by a registrar at the school, Mr Yebo Okrah and Mr Ben Andoh, head of the University Relations. A protest letter signed by Mr Samuel Ennin, Ashanti Regional Chairman of the GJA and copied to the Vice Chancellor of the University, recounted a number of deliberate harassment and intimidation the two officials meted to media personnel who had been invited by the university to cover its activities.

It cited the recent investiture of the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu 11, as the Chancellor of the university, where the two officials tried unsuccessfully to prevent cameramen and photographers from taking pictures of the event by physically pushing them off stage, resulting in the damage of the camera of some of the photographers and TV crew. The statement said what baffled the imagination of members of the Association was the role played by the head of the public affairs, who invited the media to the function.

It said his behaviour brought to the fore the question as to whether he fully understood his job as the Public Relations Officer of the nation's foremost science and technology university. The statement called on the university administration to re-orientate the two officials on media coverage of activities of the university.

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