A New York-based press freedom lobby group, Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) will run a two week self-defence training programme for Ghanaian journalists.
A report by the lobby group said newsgathering in Ghana has become increasingly hostile, comparing the plight of journalists in the country to “war zone conditions, where journalists are constantly heckled and manhandled by the savages and sycophants who parade themselves as presidential staffers, aides and spokespersons.”
The CPJ initiative comes only days after Stan Dogbe, a presidential staffer, attacked a reporter of the national TV station, smashing the journalist’s recorder in the process.
A spokesman for CPJ said the silence of groups like the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA), the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC)- employers of the assaulted journalist, and the Flagstaff House is a clear indication that violence against journalists is mostly likely to go unpunished. This situation, he said, “makes the self-defence course all the more important.”
According to the spokesman, the course which will be open to all Ghanaian journalists will aim to equip journalists with practical skills to help them confront senseless attacks. “Journalists will learn how to be sharp with their pens as well as their fists,” he added.