Founder of the African University College of Communications (AUCC), Mr. Kojo Yankah says the Ghanaian media can do better by giving less attention to party politics and concentrating on developmental issues.
Though, the former Ghana Institute of Journalism Boss admitted that editorial influence has adverse effects on the responsibilities of Journalists, he reminded the media of their watchdog role in society which is required of them to serve national interest.
With emphasis on Journalists operating in northern Ghana, Mr. Yankah underscored the prompt need for them to place premium on issues affecting the socio-economic transformation of the people.
Mr. Yankah was interacting with the media in northern Ghana at the Press Freedom Lectures in Tamale under the theme, ‘Building bridges and strengthening community through the media,
The event was under the auspices of the African University College of Communications (AUCC) in collaboration with the US Embassy.
In view of the astronomical poverty levels associated with the three northern regions, he insisted that the surest way the media can exercise their freedom is to shift the paradigm from sensationalism to the promotion of rural development.
‘I am challenging you to go beyond political propaganda and act responsibly in accordance with professional ethics by redefining the contents of your programmes to grow the economy of northern Ghana.’
On the election petition hearing, Mr. Yankah observed that the media have created unnecessary fear and panic which has increased anxiety in the populace.
From the Prairie View A & M University, Professor Lewis Smith backed calls for the media outlets in northern Ghana to engage communities to foster their socio-cultural and economic development.
He implied, ‘Use the media as a platform to facilitate participatory democracy on a regular basis by creating the means for community based organizations to engage the vulnerable in dialogue as the best practice to address their needs.’
Professor Lewis advised the media to ensure fairness and balance in their reportage saying, ‘This is the only way you can satisfy your personal interest within a short term.’
Ms. Jeanne Clark of the US Embassy pinpointed ethical dilemma as one of the obstacles affecting responsible journalism.
Nonetheless, she impressed on the media to act as fact finders by giving voice to the voiceless in society.
The resource persons answered questions from the participants drawn from the print and electronic media outlets in the three northern regions.
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