The Chief Justice, Kwasi Anin-Yeboah has called for enhanced professionalism in the media landscape to safeguard and promote the country’s democracy in the build-up to this year’s general elections.
According to him, the media’s role in the development of Ghana could not be over-emphasised noting that journalists have a responsibility to help the government in improving the lives of citizens.
In a speech read on his behalf at the 25th Ghana Journalists Awards in Accra late Saturday, the Chief Justice charged Ghanaian journalists to intensify its advocacy work and reject political infiltrations which could undermine the relevance of the media.
This year’s event was on the theme “COVID-19 and Credible Presidential and Parliamentary Elections: The Media factor.”
Referencing the COVID-19 safety protocols, he said journalists should abide strictly to their professional ethics and principles to be able to realise the expected results of improving the lives of Ghanaians and promoting peace and security before, during and after the presidential and parliamentary elections.
“As media, let us lock down sensationalism in our reports, sanitise our pages and airwaves from abuse, distance ourselves from misreporting and wear our masks of patriotism and responsibility, especially as the electioneering activities are ongoing,” Justice Anin-Yeboah added.
He stated that it was in the collective interest of all Ghanaians to have a media that was focused on seeking accountability, transparency and good governance from political actors.
This, he explained, provides a far-reaching reason for the media to be circumspect in their reportage saying that “we must be united in seeking for our common goal, which is prosperity for all and not causing divisions.”
The Chief Justice urged the media to help the populace to make sound political decisions and critically examine all public transactions by disseminating information and providing government with feedback.
As a key stakeholder in the advancement of Ghana’s democratic journey, he said the judiciary would continue to partner with the media in educating the public on the decisions of the body and promote freedom of the press.
Chairman of the National Media Commission (NMC), Yaw Boadu-Ayeboafoh, urged the media to provide equal opportunities to all political parties to share their messages and help Ghanaians to evaluate and assess each of them before casting their vote.
He further advised the media to pursue gender sensitive policies as basic conditions for the empowerment of women and give attention to the mobilisation of women as equal partners in all areas of life in contribution to efforts towards the passage of the Affirmative Action Law.
Mr Affail Monney, President of GJA, cautioned the media against fanning the flames of tension and stoking violence and called on them not to abandon their central role to shape decent campaign discourse in the run-up to the elections.
BY CLAUDE NYARKO ADAMS