The National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) has said responsible reportage in the media had become a scarce commodity in recent time because many journalists had ignored responsible journalism in the country.
Mrs. Charlotte Kessin-Smith Osei, the Chairperson of the NCCE suggested ‘the media must say nothing evil, see nothing evil and report nothing evil till October this year in order to prevent chaos during and after the Supreme Court verdict on the Election 2012 petition.’
She said many media houses were aligned to political parties and as such media personnel working in those media houses were not abiding by the GJA code of ethics and called for a change in the trend.
Mrs. Osei said this in Tamale on Wednesday during a day’s workshop organized by the Ghana Independent Broadcasters Association (GIBA) in collaboration with the NCCE on the enforcement of the code of conduct of GIBA to ensure peace during and after the verdict.
The workshop, which was attended by some media owners in the Northern Region, was sponsored by STAR-Ghana; a multi-dollar pool funding organization and was the third zonal workshop after similar ones were organized in Accra and Kumasi to sanitize the airwaves during and after the verdict.
Mrs Osei said the media had a crucial role to play in society since ‘Journalism is a calling and a profession so those who opted to be journalists must know of their responsibility to the state and think about the public interest firstthey must avoid reporting hate speeches’.
She said the media’s independence was guaranteed by the constitution but advised media practitioners to bond themselves by the ethics of accuracy, balanced, objective and truthfulness during news reportage adding that media credibility in Ghana was seriously in doubt.
Mrs. Osei said the media in Ghana today was not different from the Rwandan media, before the genocide and that it was necessary for media practitioners in Ghana to refrain from insensitive reporting.
Mr. Alexander Bannerman, Deputy Executive Secretary of the National Media Commission, (NCA) said the Commission had over the period noticed that radio stations were the most offenders of the irresponsible practices in the profession.
He said the NCA would soon complete a draft bill that would empower it to monitor the content of the media particularly radio stations and that the NCA was monitoring all the radio stations across the country to ensure the avoidance of abusing responsibility.
Mr. Bannerman advised the media not to give politicians the opportunity to misuse the platform to comment unnecessarily on the election petition in the SC.
Mr. Gerald Ankrah, Executive Director of GIBA, said the association performed creditably during the 2012 elections, which ensured that peace prevailed nationwide through self-censorship.
He gave the assurance that GIBA would do the same to ensure that the country remained peaceful during and after the verdict through coordination and sensitization of activities to sustain the current peace in the country.
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