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.”