By Ken Sackey, GNA
Sept. 9, GNA - President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, Monday, stressed the need
for continuous training, self-regulation and an insistence on acceptable media
ethics and journalistic standards by media houses, practitioners and their
This, he said,
was the surest way to enhance high standards and professionalism, and address
current shortcomings in the media landscape.
Akufo-Addo was speaking at the 2019 Bar Conference of the Ghana Bar Association
(GBA), in Takoradi, in the Western Region.
was not happy that deliberate misinformation campaigns had now gained added
currency, with the proliferation of media channels, including social media.
He noted that a
major threat to the integrity of the news world was the publication of
unverified claims, in the haste to be first to break so-called news.
“In such cases,
even after the public has been misinformed, and the true facts are later made
known, media often chickens out of an honest open acknowledgement that “we
erred.” The response is often to refuse to apologise or sweep it under the
carpet, and move on to the next big story,” the President said.
are not the only persons who make mistakes. Media practitioners, like all human
beings, can also make mistakes, and, when they do, they should have the
humility to acknowledge their error, and not have their misdeeds atoned under
the guise of ‘media freedom’. Irresponsible media practice is an abuse of
freedom of expression, not its manifestation”.
The media, the
President added, has immeasurable power to build up the confidence and values
of Ghanaian society and its institutions.
“I call on
Ghanaian media practitioners to take a second look at the power they wield, and
the responsibility they owe society, with a view to ensuring that, they do not
sacrifice integrity and the future of our society for today’s headline or
breaking news,” he said.
Akufo-Addo was emphatic that no effort was being made to suppress freedom of
expression in Ghana, as the continuing vitality of the Ghanaian media and the
intense diversity of the public discourse remained some of the most
internationally admired traits of Ghanaian democracy.
today, as they have been doing for much of the 4th Republic, able to give
boldly and freely their feedback on policies and programmes of government;
civil society organisations are able to interrogate fearlessly government
actions and positions, compare them to global best practices, and offer views and
critiques aimed at complementing the efforts of government; and the political
opposition is able to raise dissent openly, and canvass without intimidation
for alternative viewpoints, ” he pointed out.
stated that, the repeal of the Criminal Libel Law in 2001, when he was Attorney
General, represents one of the high points of his public career.
“In my time as
President, the Right to Information Act, whose passage had, hitherto, become a
taboo, was finally enacted by Parliament. My attachment to the vital nature of
freedom of expression in promoting national progress and security has not
changed since I became President,” he added.