The Eastern Regional Minister, Mr Julius Debrah, has asked journalists in the region to put aside their relationship with political leaders, especially those in the ruling National Democratic Congress, and boldly criticise them if they go wrong.
He also advised them not to be politically biased in their reporting.
These, he said, were the only directions that would accelerate the development of the region.
Mr Debrah made these remarks when he addressed a seminar organised by the regional branch of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) to mark this year’s World Press Freedom Day which fell on May 3.
It was attended by journalists and heads of departments in the region and dignitaries such as the Deputy Regional Minister, Miss Mavis Ama Frempong.
According to Mr Debrah, the region can only develop if journalists put aside their political affiliation and friendship with politicians, especially those in government, and boldly criticise them whenever they go wrong.
“Do not be politically biased and do not also consider your relationship with us but be bold and offer constructive criticism if we go wrong, since that is the only way to move the region forward,” Mr Debrah stated.
With regard to the progression of journalists, the regional minister encouraged them not to be satisfied with their present status but to aim high to be at the top, just like others currently occupying enviable positions.
He expressed his appreciation to the media in the region for their support for his administration to improve the lot of the people in the region.
Mr A. C Ohene, who deputised for the President of the GJA, Dr Affail Monney, dwelt extensively on the ethics of the journalism profession and cautioned journalists to always put the country first in whatever information they disseminated.
“You should not do anything that would incite Christians against Muslims, tribe against tribe or Christians against traditional worshippers because we belong to a big family, Ghana.”
Mr Safo, who chaired the function, reminded journalists of their responsibilities towards the creation of a just and peaceful society devoid of poverty.
Earlier in a welcome address, the Eastern Regional Chairman of the association, Mr George Larbi, asked journalists not to do anything that would tarnish their image.
He, on behalf of members of the regional branch of the association, assured the regional minister of their support in moving the region forward.
Although the day had already been celebrated in Accra, the regional branch of the association decided to organise the seminar to properly take its members through the ethics of the profession to enable them to play their expected role in the development of the region.
Past chairmen honoured
The event was used to honour four past regional chairmen of the association, Messrs Emmanuel Safo, formerly of the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation, Ransford Tetteh of the Daily Graphic, A. C. Ohene of TV Africa and Edmund Quaynor of the Ghana News Agency, all of whom were presented with mementoes embossed with citations for their contributions.