Journalists urged to Bridge the gap of injustice and inequality

By Amadu
Kamil Sanah/Stephen Appiah, GNA

Accra, Oct. 10, GNA – Ambassador Kabral
Blay-Amihere, a former Chairman of the National Media Commission, has urged
Journalists in the West African Sub-region to help bridge the inequality and
injustice gap by exposing corruption and corrupt practices.

He said corruption was one of the banes of
Africa’s under development. 

Ambassador Blay-Amihere was speaking at the
opening of the West Africa Conference on Investigative Journalism organised by
the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) in Accra on Wednesday.

The two-day conference, brought together 45
Investigative Journalists from 16 countries across the West African Sub-region
to discuss: “The State of Investigative Journalism in Africa, Building Safety
Net for Investigative Journalism in West Africa, What has to be done and
Cross-border Investigative Journalism: Lessons from West Africa Leaks and
Panama Papers”.

The conference is also to initiate the set-up
and launch of the West Africa Network of Investigative Journalists.

He said even though Ghana had been ranked 23rd
in the world with the practice of press freedom and freedom of speech and first
in Africa, there were many other challenges that journalists were confronted
with.  

Ambassador Blay-Amihere said politicians had
now become the dictators of the new media in most African countries, adding
that, “in Ghana there are about 400 Radio stations, which are partly own by
politicians.”

He said this alone affected media freedom and
freedom of speech as most journalists were being dictated by owners of their
stations on what to air for fear of loss of job.

Ambassador Blay-Amihere said with the growing
new media, the circulation of most traditional media had been declining,
leading to the loss of revenue.

Mr Sulemana Braimah, the Executive Director of
the MFWA, said Investigative Journalism was focused on fact checking in order
to bring out truth.

He said journalists, who are into
Investigations, should be considered as mentors or leaders within their
communities.

He said the conference was to discuss the
challenges, prospects and how investigative journalists can network to carry
out cross border investigative reporting.

Mr Braimah said majority of the participants
had already carried out great and significant Investigative works in their
various countries which needed cross-border societal development, adding that,
this conference would also deal with the threat facing investigative
journalists and how the media can be strengthened in the Sub-region.

He urged journalists to be factual,
professional and stick to the fact of presenting people with the detailed truth
and also go by the ethics of the profession.

The Executive Director said, in many of the
countries, journalists and media organisations were under threat because of the
good work they were doing which hurt many families.

Beate Weides, Country Coordinator Ghana, DW
Akademie, said her outfit support freedom of expression and press freedom
everywhere in the world and urged public authorities in the West African
Sub-region to be transparent.

GNA

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