Editor testifies at CHRAJ today

Francis Emile Short, Commissioner of CHRAJ

Ebo Quansah, Editor of The Chronicle, will appear before an investigating team probing the circumstances under which a private conversation he had with a friend at the International Press Centre, headquarters of the Ghana Journalists Association, on Monday, October 4, was secretly recorded, and played on Asempa FM, an Accra-based private radio station.

Mr. Quansah lodged a complaint with the Commission, the National Media Commission, and the Ghana Journalists Association, following the airing of the entirely private conversation on radio. Meanwhile, Multimedia Group Limited, the company that owns the radio station, has claimed in a response to the NMC that it should “decline to investigate the complaints of the petitioner.”

While conceding that a tape of that sort was played on the radio station, Multimedia claimed that “the recording was made in a public place, where nobody could reasonably claim privacy,” according to the Multimedia letter signed by Jane Ohenewa Gyekye, Chief HR Business Partner, and Edmund Pappoe, Chief Finance Officer.

“The audio itself (which in our editorial discretion was news worthy) was largely unclear, because of the cacophony of human sounds and rushing air which merely captured; the petitioners own petition is evidence that his words were barely audible,” claimed Multimedia.

“The airing of the recording was not intended to cast the petitioner in any particular light, but to report on an event which took place in a public setting. It is not a fetter to free speech to publish the words of a public figure, spoken openly in a public place.”

Mr. Quansah has since rebutted the contention of Multimedia in a letter to the NMC: “I reject the submission that the recording was made at a public place, and therefore, does not amount to invasion of privacy. In the first place, I was not addressing a press conference when the recording was made. Neither did I consent to grant an interview to a reporter from Asempa or any other person at the International Press Centre.”

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