Yesterday’s edition of The Daily Graphic sunk very low into tabloid sensationalism territory. Of all the national stories that could have been headlined, the newspaper chose to sing loud hosannas in a three-quarter front-page cover, plus full page narrative on News page 3, to rape suspect Kwesi Kyei Darkwah, alias KKD. The huge bolded front-page headline was bizarre and irresponsible as the suspect had not been tried, nor exonerated of the rape charges that landed him in police custody for 19 days.

The suspect, KKD, was only out of police custody on a GHS20,000 bail, due to what the Human Rights Division of Accra high Court described as “ill health.” Yet the newspaper and others published pictures of the suspect looking like a magazine model. What message does this unwarranted triumphalist portrait of a rape suspect, by a flagship state media outfit, send to the public? What does it say to rape victims about due process and the shaping of public opinion?

The conduct of The Daily Graphic and other media entities smacks of the media fraternity circling its wagons in order to protect one of its own regardless of the status of the legal case brought against the accused member. The media treatment of KKD in heroic frames sends a bad signal about how the media treats sexual abuse cases.

———————–

The Editor, CitizenGhana