Reckless comments against female sports journalists: GJA demands apology from Captain Smart

The Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) has asked Blessed Godsbrian Smart, to apologise to female television sports presenters for unsavoury comments he made about them.

The Onua FM/ TV morning show host, known in the media space as ‘Captain Smart’ last week alleged on his show and social me­dia platforms that, female television sports presenters have been “chop­ping” players of the senior national male team (Black Stars), undermin­ing the team’s performance at the World Cup in Qatar.

Following the elimination of the Black Stars from the ongoing World Cup in Qatar, Captain Smart, said he had cautioned the Ghana Foot­ball Association (GFA) to stop all female TV presenters from following the Black Stars.

In a press statement signed by its General Secretary, Mr Kofi Yeboah, the GJA said even though Captain Smart specifically made 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 of 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 recognises the public’s right to fair, unbiased, accurate, balanced and compre­hensive information.”

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 importantly,” while Article 5(c) provides that, statements or information that could be ambiguous or misleading should be avoided,” the statement added.

According to the GJA, it cher­ishes the professional integrity and hard work of female journalists which has yielded many works of positive impact.

“We’re 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 the Best Sports Journalist awards respectively, at this year’s GJA Media Awards.

It said “no amount of deroga­tory comments, even from within the Media General stable, will low­er our estimation and celebration of female journalists.”

“A few weeks ago, we had the cause to condemn the crude manner operatives of the National Investiga­tion Bureau (NIB) arrested Captain Smart in public, but today, we have good reason to publicly denounce him for the crude manner he at­tacked the dignity and integrity of female journalists.”

The GJA urged 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 will not be countenanced.”

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