Manasseh Azure Awuni, a journalism fellow at Harvard University, claims there is no excuse for the New Patriotic Party (NPP) on United Television (UTV) to invade a live television broadcast.
This comes after footage on the internet depicting a gang purporting to be part of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) breaking into the UTV studios during a live program and demanding an apology from artist Kwame A-Plus, one of the panelists.
They said he had insulted the vice president, the president, and the party.
They claimed that the program had turned into a forum for the government’s unjust criticism in an unprofessional manner, to the point where A Plus, a frequent panelist on the program and political activist who also happens to support the NPP, tore apart a letter sent by the NPP to UTV management proposing reforms for United Showbiz live on air.
On Saturday, October 14, Mr. Azure Awuni stated that the group’s actions were not warranted in an interview with JoyNews’ Newsfile.
“There is nothing that justifies they [NPP members] going in there to try to force them to do what they want,” he said.
As per his statement, the NPP was entitled and justified in writing to the media outlet to voice their dissatisfaction with their actions, as they had anticipated some justice from that establishment.
He said the “media organization should have also distanced itself from whoever tore the letter on live television.”
“Every media organization operates to satisfy the audience and the NPP members are audience or part of the audience of UTV and so you have to take it whether you accept it or not, it is feedback, you can always argue or even decide to ignore it but they have the right to approach you and tell you their grievances.”
Salam Mustapha, the NPP’s National Youth Organizer, has since verified that every young man who took part in the studio invasion is a recognized party member.
Numerous people and organizations have denounced the event.
According to the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA), the act was both “barbaric and medieval, and it is very much consistent with the building blocks in recent times to establish a state of impunity against the media, one that is worse than the infamous ‘Culture of Silence’.”
“We wish to inform such evil minds, both orchestrators and actors, that the media in Ghana have survived all forms of clampdown in the past, even under dictatorial regimes, and that we shall never be intimidated or silenced by any form of attack,” the statement from GJA added.