The media play a very important role in the development of every nation.
The advancement of every country aimed at improving the political, economic and social lives of the people cannot be achieved without a vibrant media.
In many jurisdictions, the media help people understand and thereby appreciate their environment. In fact, where the media pursue their role professionally with truth, fairness and justice, society benefits immensely.
In addition, the media act as guardians of public interest and watchdogs on the activities of the Executive and other arms of government. All in all, the media play a binding role of all the power centres in a country and allow state machinery to grind smoothly.
It is for this reason that, across the globe, the media have won for themselves the accolade ‘the Fourth Estate of the Realm’, as it is considered as the fourth after the Executive, the Legislature and the Judiciary.
Ghana News Headlines
For latest news in Ghana, visit Graphic Online news headlines page Ghana news page
In most free societies, therefore, freedom of the media is guaranteed and any act of commission or omission on the part of any actors of state power is seen as an attempt to stifle freedom of the media.
It is, therefore, worrying that in many parts of the world media practitioners have come under various forms of attack from all manner of people — ordinary citizens, politicians and members of state security.
Ghana has had its own share of threats and attacks on media practitioners and the Daily Graphic is highly concerned that of the more than 25 attacks on journalists in the past 13 years, no single perpetrator of these attacks has been prosecuted.
Our worry is that many of these attackers, who are mostly in the security services, are identified, with a promise to use security service procedures to punish them, but our checks show that not even one has been sanctioned.
Currently on our hands is the attack on three journalists of the Ghanaian Times who were beaten by a motor-riding policeman last Thursday.
Our information is that one of the journalists was locked up at the Ministries Police Station and that it took the intervention of the Director of the Public Affairs Directorate of the Ghana Police Service, ACP David Eklu, for the journalist to be released.
With this in mind, and information that the policeman at the centre of the attack has been identified, the media fraternity looks forward to very swift action being taken to bring the perpetrator to book.
We know that the Ghana Police Service is full of very good officers and men who can take swift action in certain cases. A case in point is the speedy manner in which the driver and his mate who assaulted a traffic policeman have been brought before court, days after the unpardonable act had taken place.
While we pledge our readiness to assist the security services to ensure law and order, we urge the police to instantaneously take action on attacks on journalists by persons in the security services, especially the police.
It is only when they do this that they will gain the confidence of the media and the public at large that they are interested in issues affecting not only their own but those of every Ghanaian because of whom they continue to earn their emoluments.