The National Media Commission (NMC) has charged journalists to be circumspect and adopt responsible techniques in their line of duty.
Speaking at the World Press Freedom Day 2019 in line with the theme “Media for Democracy: Journalism and Election in times of Disinformation, the Chairman of the Commission, Yaw Boadu Ayeboafo challenged journalists to discharge their duties without sensationalism.
“Freedom without responsibility is futile. In the same way, you cannot exact responsibility where there is no freedom …Therefore at all time, freedom and responsibility must go hand in hand and it is when we discharge our obligations that we expect a reciprocity that the public will put their trust in us.
“They will confide in us and they will begin to accept and appreciate us in the things we do. As the good book says the story; what is salt when it is mixed with sand? It cannot be used for anything. If we say we are media people and we are not trusted then we cease to have impact and meaning within that environment and we must be conscious of this.”
Until recently, Ghana ranked the best African country with press freedom. However, the murder of Ahmed Hussein Suale, a member of investigative journalist, Anas Aremeyaw Anas’ team, sent Ghana tumbling down in the rankings.
In the 2019 World Press Freedom Index report prepared by Reporters Without Borders, Ghana ranked 27 down 4 places from 2018’s 23rd ranking at the global level.
According to the report, the drop was mainly due to the threats on the life of Ahmed Suale following the publication of the No. 12 documentary and his subsequent murder.
World press freedom day, a day on which the fundamental principles of press freedom are celebrated, also presents an opportunity for the world to pay tribute to journalists who have lost their lives in the line of duty.
Authoritarian governments have suppressed free press in many countries across Africa, but in Ghana and a few other countries, journalists, young and old have continued to hold the powerful to account through the pen and their investigative works.