Albert Kwabena Dwumfour (middle), President, Ghana Journalists Association, exchanging pleasantries with Kevin Brosnahan (right), press attaché at the US Embassy. Looking on is Palgrave Boakye Danquah (left), Spokesperson on Governance. Picture: ELVIS NII NOI DOWUONA
Albert Kwabena Dwumfour (middle), President, Ghana Journalists Association, exchanging pleasantries with Kevin Brosnahan (right), press attaché at the US Embassy. Looking on is Palgrave Boakye Danquah (left), Spokesperson on Governance. Picture: ELVIS NII NOI DOWUONA

GJA-US Embassy Ghana elections 2024 project launched

The Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) has launched a programme to ensure maximum professionalism in the work of the media towards the 2024 general election to safeguard the country’s democracy.

The GJA/US Embassy Ghana Elections 2024 project is dubbed: “Journalists for peaceful discourse”.

It is to promote professionalism by empowering the media and related entities to contribute towards a violence-free and credible polls next year. 

The project, which also aims at “promoting peaceful journalistic media platforms ahead of election 2024”, is a collaboration between the association and the US Embassy in Accra to fight  misinformation and disinformation, and also support high-quality public information related to the elections.

Significance

The President of the GJA, Albert Kwabena Dwumfour, said the 12-month project would offer journalists the opportunity to exchange knowledge and foster an environment conducive for free speech and strengthening of strong electoral and democratic institutions. 

He mentioned incitement on media platforms as the leading cause of violence perpetrated against journalists during the 2020 election.

This was contained in the findings of a GJA and National Media Commission monitoring exercise report during the December 7, 2020 election.

Mr Dwumfour said free expression in an environment devoid of fear or intimidation and making well-informed decisions were part of democracy, but said such freedom must be exercised responsibly.

“I want to reiterate that the GJA does not, and will not, condone unprofessional conduct. We will not shield or provide cover for deviants of professionalism,” he said.

The president, therefore, said the association would roll out a monitoring mechanism based on which it would call out media practitioners and institutions that infringed on GJA ethics.  

Capacity building

The press attaché at the US Embassy, Kevin Brosnahan, said elections always challenged democratic institutions, but said the institutions must rise to the challenge. 

He said it was for this reason the country needed well-trained and well-prepared reporters to ensure such challenges were surmounted.

Mr Brosnahan further said the US Embassy and GJA had been long-term partners who had worked together to defend press freedom, including providing resources and training for journalists in the country.

“Next year will be no different, we will support GJA’s regional training of journalists to improve their fact-based reporting on elections”, he added.

Transparency

The Minister of Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, in a speech read on his behalf, said the project was in line with the government shared vision of a tranquil, prosperous nation and, therefore, gave an assurance that his outfit would collaborate to ensure the realisation of the initiative.

Representatives of the Electoral Commission, the Ghana Police Service, the National Peace Council, PRINPAG and the two major political parties - New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the National Democratic Congress (NDC), also, pledged their support for the project.

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