Virginia Palmer (left), US Ambassador to Ghana, interacting with Albert Kwabena Dwumfour, GJA President, during the event. Picture: ESTHER ADJORKOR ADJEI
Virginia Palmer (left), US Ambassador to Ghana, interacting with Albert Kwabena Dwumfour, GJA President, during the event. Picture: ESTHER ADJORKOR ADJEI

Election 2024: Choose accuracy over speed - GJA President advises Media

The President of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA), Albert Kwabena Dwumfour, has cautioned media practitioners against choosing speed over accuracy in their reportage of this year's general election on December 7.


He said in order to keep the sanctity and credibility of Ghana's long-standing democracy and electoral process, it was important for journalists to do fact-checking from all relevant authorities before publishing their stories.

Mr Dwumfour sounded the caution during a GJA/US Embassy workshop on Journalists for Peaceful Discourse.

The objective is promoting violence-free and credible elections this year through well-informed and trained journalists who use best practices for fact-based and non-partisan election reporting.

The theme of the one-day training programme held in Accra last Friday was: "Promoting peaceful journalistic media platforms ahead of elections 2024."

The initiative, launched last November in Accra, has been replicated in the Volta, Northern, and Ashanti regions.

The GJA, as part of the project, seeks to offer professional development to online editors, producers, on-air personalities and talk show hosts to build their knowledge base to enable them to contribute to violence-free platforms.

It is also to promote long-term learning among participants who would contribute to upholding freedom of expression and credible polls by initiating journalists for peaceful discourse mini-projects.

The GJA president said the temptation of being the first to break a news item had forced some media practitioners to throw caution to the wind most at times, creating doubts about the credibility of the polls.

"It is our hope that the objective of this project would help shape the media system and further reduce the excesses to the barest minimum," he said.

Mr Dwumfour believed that freedom of expression did not only mean allowing people to speak, but also ensuring responsibility as there was the need to protect the very space used for free speech.

"The GJA has a mandate to promote democracy, freedom of expression, human rights and other responsibilities as enshrined in Ghana’s 1992 Constitution, including national development and the general good of the citizenry," he added.


The president reckoned that this year's elections will go a notch higher, taking into consideration the resolve by the incumbent New Patriotic Party (NPP) to "break the 8" to retain power, while the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) had resolved to clinch power from the NPP.

"Election 2024 is also being held against the backdrop of insecurity, terrorism and insurgency in the region of West Africa, coupled with challenges with the economy, with Inflation hitting highs, hence dwarfing the people’s purchasing power.

"All these factors point to a heightened and tense atmosphere, raising the need to ensure that journalists and talk show hosts, in their agenda-setting role, maintain an atmosphere that encourages discussion of policy issues, while promoting and protecting the space for peaceful discourse, which is integral to a successful peaceful election in December 2024," he said.


Mr Dwumfour said there was a growing intolerance against the media as attacks on the media were on the ascendancy.

The Chairman of the Greater Accra branch of the GJA, Charles Benoni Okine, urged journalists to be tactical in their reportage and provide a balanced view as much as possible.

He said at every time, the stakes are high, urging his colleague journalists not to stray into areas they were not supposed to be.

US Ambassador

The US Ambassador to Ghana, Virginia Palmer, said Ghana and the United States of America had a lot in common, especially as the two edged closer to this year's elections.

said the role of a free, vibrant and professional media had never been more important.


Ambassador Palmer cautioned against disinformation which sows mistrust in institutions and the electoral process.

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