Standards of journalism falling- Dean

By Sarah Agyekum/
Belinda Kusorgbor, GNA

Accra, Aug. 23, GNA
– Mr James Asante, the Dean of Journalism at the Ghana Institute of Journalism,
Accra, has noted that the standards of journalism are falling hence the need
for efforts to reverse the trend.

He said the
principles of journalism, which require journalists to be fair, balanced,
independent and loyal, have become increasingly difficult to practice.

In an interview
with the Ghana News Agency, in Accra, he said: “Previously, censorship
regulated the operations of the media. However, the current media pluralism has
led to some journalists writing articles, which are not supposed to be in the
public domain.  

“Newspapers needed
license to operate but now only registration is required unlike radio and
television, which require frequencies to operate,” he said.

He added that the
influence of media ownership and reportage are geared towards ideology, which
compromises some journalists to toe the lines of the owners.

“Most of the media
houses are owned by private individuals, mostly politicians, who have their own
ideologies. Journalists who work in these media houses are forced to report in
accordance with the philosophy of the media,” he said.

He said some journalists
are influenced by low remuneration, which affects their judgments as far as
writing stories are concerned.

Mr Asante said
another worrying trend is the lack of laws and disrespect of the ethics
regulating the activities of the fourth estate.

“Statutes and laws
to regulate the activities of the media are hanging.

“The ethics of the
profession are not constitutionally supported. Regulatory bodies such as the
National Media Commission, Ghana Journalists Association, and Independent
Broadcasters Association, invite editors to appear before them whenever there
are problems with their reportage but these editors and owners fail to do so.

“Unless journalists’
respect and comply with their own codes and ethics, the standards would not
change.

“Every media house
should have ethics and ensure that sanctions accompany anyone who flouts them.

“Orientation/
in-service training should be provided to the staff and journalists should
research into their stories before disseminating the information to the audience,”
he advised.

GNA

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