The greatest threat to press freedom and Ghana’s democracy is media irresponsibility and the refusal by journalists to abide by the code of ethics of the profession.
The National Media Commission (NMC) which made this observation on Thursday said media irresponsibility in any form could be used as a justification for repression of media freedoms and free speech, a relapse that would be bad for Ghana’s growing democracy.
The observation was made in a statement signed by Mr Kabral Blay-Amihere, Chairman of NMC on “Decisions of the Complaints Settlement Committee of the NMC”.
According to the statement, most of the cases dealt with showed a growing trend of total disregard by the journalists and media houses of the code of ethics of the journalistic profession.
“Equally disturbing is the refusal of journalists and media houses to subject themselves to the settlement process of the Committee, totally oblivious of the fact that all the freedoms enjoyed by the media and public are subsumed under the 1992 Constitution that established the Committee,” it added.
The NMC, therefore, urged the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA), Ghana Independent Broadcasters Association and Private Newspapers Publishers Association of Ghana to embark on an educational programme to acquaint their members and media houses with the provisions of the various codes of ethics of the profession.
It assured individuals and institutions who had lodged complaints with the Commission that their complaints were receiving attention of the Committee.