The Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) has condemned Accra-based Joy FM over the radio station's April Fool's day prank.
Joy FM had on Friday given its listeners the impression that its “Super Morning Show” host Kojo Yankson while on air, was forcibly picked up by two Bureau of National Investigation (BNI) operatives from the studio and taken away.
Commenting on the development in a strongly-worded statement issued in Accra on Monday, the GJA described the prank as an "expensive joke with no entertainment value".
"The GJA is deeply disappointed that a radio station of Joy FM’s caliber could decide to stoop so low and indulge in such broadcast vulgarism that has the tendency to undermine media trust, public security and generate unnecessary political tension.
"This is especially the case, in the wake of the recent incident involving National Security, the BNI and the New Patriotic Party, over the deportation of three South African security men said to have been in Ghana to train the private security of Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo Addo, flagbearer of the NPP.
"The GJA considers the use of the mass media to play such tricks as dangerous and inimical to the image of the media, whose personnel are expected to be disseminators and conveyors of credible information at all times," the statement signed by the association's president, Affail Monney, said.
The GJA went on to criticise other media houses that had engaged in similar pranks, stressing the need for journalists to use their platforms to promote decent dialogue and debate that help to inform, educate and entertain people, especially with elections coming up in November.
The Joy FM prank provoked a firestorm of controversy and outrage among some members of the public, with relentless calls for President John Mahama to bring the BNI under control.
When it turned to be an April Fool's day gimmick, however, the station came intense criticism from a section of the public, compelling an apology from the station's morning show host, Kojo Yankson, on Monday.