According to Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko, a prominent New Patriotic Party (NPP) member, a media outlet can choose to be political and unprofessional in their actions just as much as politicians can use other means to call them out or take them to the proper authorities.
According to Gabby, parties who have been wronged can either denounce such media outlets to the National Media Commission (NMC) or file a lawsuit in court to get the appropriate redress.
He continues by saying that if a party that feels wronged rejects the two formal alternatives, they have three more choices: boycott the channel, watch the show, or tune out.
His remarks follow the takeover of a privately owned UTV on October 7 by thugs connected to the NPP; despite widespread criticism of the raid, the party and government have denounced the event.
“A radio station or TV show has no obligation to be impartial. In fact some even choose to lie and insult. You may call them out, complain to NMC or sue them. But, you can’t FORCE them to be fair. Endure, enjoy or tune out!” Gabby wrote in a Facebook post dated October 9, 2023.
The NPP thugs went to the station to express their displeasure at how a comedy program had turned political and was constantly criticizing the government due to the alleged panel’s makeup.
After the NPP wrote to UTV requesting that the show be changed, the United Showbiz program became the center of controversy.
The invasion that resulted in the arrest of 16 persons who have since been released on bail was partially precipitated by panelist A Plus ripping a copy of their letter on live television.
In a subsequent piece, Gabby stated that, at the risk of losing its credibility, every media outlet reserves the right to utilize its platform to criticize political parties.
“A TV station is always free to use its platform(s) to attack a political party without giving that party a right to reply. Yea, if that station is ok losing credibility in the eyes of Ghanaians. The party has every right to call that station out, loudly but decently,” he added.