Journalists urged to maintain professionalism in electoral reporting

By
D.I. Laary, GNA

Accra, Aug. 28, GNA
– Mrs Charlotte Osei, the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission, has asked
journalists to maintain high ethical standards and professionalism in reporting
the electoral process to promote peaceful presidential and parliamentary polls in
December.

She reminded media
practitioners to allow the core principles of journalism to guide their work
and eschew reports borne out of speculation and rumour which could provoke
unnecessary tension and chaos as the polls draw near.

Mrs Osei, who was
the Guest Speaker at the 21st Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) Awards on
Saturday, echoed the power of the media in influencing public decisions.

The awards ceremony
was held on the theme: “Media for Undisputed and Peaceful 2016 Elections: The
Support of Civil Society.”

While expressing
confidence in the Commission’s preparedness to organise another successful and
peaceful elections, she called for collaborative efforts from all stakeholders
to support the course.

She said journalists
should always be guided by the tenets of accuracy, balance and truth as well as
stick to the facts of their reports, reiterating that; “do not base your
reportage on mere speculations, check everything you report on the electoral
exercise for accuracy,” Mrs Osei said.

She noted that
failure of the media to “report accurately may create the condition for
disputed electoral outcome without basis.”

“As a nation we
don’t need that, so I’m pleading for a return to first principles; the
principles and ethical values that make journalism a profession worthy of our
respect and the protections which our Constitution provides journalists,” Mrs
Osei said.

An investigative
journalist, Mr Anas Aremeyaw Anas, won the GJA Journalist of the Year 2015
Award. He took home a Hyundai SUV plus a certificate and a plaque.

Anas’ award was
based on his exposé on corruption in the country’s judiciary where some 34
judges were shown to have taken bribes to sway justice. About 26 of the judges
have been sacked following the Judicial Service probe into the expose that
found them guilty.

More than 20 other
awards were given to journalists in various categories.

Ghana News Agency’s
A.B. Kafui Kanyi won two awards: the Best Health Reporter with his story;
Poison in a Calabash, and the Rural Reporting Award with the story: My baby my
farm.

The Best Journalist
in Sports (Radio) went to Benedict Owusu of Joy News for his story: Juju in
Football.

The Best Journalist
in Sports (Print) went to John Vigah of the Graphic Communication Group for his
story; Accra Sports Stadium: A Death Trap

The Best Photo
Journalist went to Samuel Tei Adenoh of Ghanaian Times for his story; Crossing
the Deadly Madina-Adentan road

The Human Rights
Award went to Gabriel Obodai Togbor Ashong of Metro TV for the story: Neglected
Souls

Emmanuel Baah of the
Graphic Communication Group won the Best Education reporter (Print) with his;
Acquiring knowledge the perilous way while the Crime and Court award went
to  Beatrice Adu of Joy FM.

Samuel Ablodepay of
Graphic won the Telecommunication award while Grace Sogbey of the Revelation
Newspaper won for News Reporting (Print).

Joseph Opoku Gakpo
of Multimedia won the Sustainable Development Goals award

Other award winners
include Seth Kwame Boateng of Multimedia for Environment, John Vegah of
Ghanaian Times; Best Investigative Reporter, Famous Kwasi Attitsogbe of
Multimedia for Small and Medium Enterprises and Dotse Konbla Aklobotu of
Graphic Business won the Oil and Gas award.

The rest are
Agriculture: Gabriel Ahiabor of Daily Graphic,

Financial Reporter:
Elvis Darko (The Finder) Arts, Entertainment and Tourism; Famous Kwasi
Attitsogbe of Multimedia, Best Reporter in Science: Rebecca Quaye of Daily
Graphic and Sanitation and Hygiene: Rebecca Awuah of GBC 24.

The GJA Komla Dumor
Most Promising Journalist went Maxwell Akalaare Adombila.

Honorary awards were
also presented to Mr Bright Blewu, General Secretary of the GJA, Metro TV for
the Good Morning Ghana programme, Viasat1, Ghana Armed forces, Ideal Finance,
EIB Network, and Global Media Alliance.

GNA

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