D.I. Laary, GNA
Wa, Sept. 8, GNA – The media have been
cautioned against using their independence, freedom and ability to communicate
effectively to “fuel tension” among political contestants as the country
prepares towards the general election.
The media have also been charged to churn out objective, balanced, fair and accurate information to ensure national cohesion.
Ghana’s Electoral Commission is expected to conduct district level elections for assembly members alongside a referendum on election of metropolitan, municipal and district chief executives in November, 2019 while presidential and parliamentary polls are anticipated in December 2020.
At the Second Edition of the ‘Graphic Regional Reports’ in Wa on Saturday, Dr Hafiz Bin-Salih, the Upper West Regional Minister, underscored the media’s role in shaping public opinion and promoting democracy and good governance.
He urged the media to be cautious in their reportage as the country had just been ushered into the process of electioneering both at the local and national levels.
“I wish to urge the media to be circumspect in their reportage in order not to fuel tensions among political parties or contestants,” he said.
He said access to public information by journalists was important in achieving the desired development results.
Therefore, it was important the media stayed free and independent, with the capacity to reflect on diverse views and report accurately while remaining accountable, Dr Bin-Salih said.
He noted that the media could be more effective if institutions like the Judiciary and the National Media Commission reinforced their independence and quality of service to complement their efforts.
Naa Ali Seidu Pelpuo, the Vice President of Waala Traditional Council, lauded efforts by the Graphic Communications Group Limited (GCGL) to launch the “Graphic Regional Reports,” which seek to make development issues in the regions the organisation’s centre of attraction for news.
He said the role of the media in sustaining peace and development could not be overstated, adding; “Without a vibrant press, the people would wallow in monumental ignorance, giving a few people unrestrained opportunity to sit on their rights.”
Mrs Mavis Kitcher, the GCGL Director of News, said the spotlight initiative would highlight the achievements and prospects of the regions to attract the necessary investment and development.
She said the reports would be on issues of social amenities, culture, education, health, and tourism, among others, which affect the lives of the people including children, women and persons with disability.
She said the idea of Graphic Regional Spotlight was mooted by the Board, chaired by Professor Kwame Karikari, to ensure broader coverage of the 16 regions of Ghana.
The First Edition of the Regional Reports was launched in Takordi, the Western Regional Capital.