We’ll not shield wayward journalists — GJA
The Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) has made it clear that it will not shield any deviant journalist whose unruly conduct disrupts the peace during the 2024 general election.
“If you choose to go wayward, you do so at your own peril, without any protection from the GJA,” the General Secretary of the association, Kofi Yeboah, said.
He was speaking at the opening of a day’s seminar in Ho on “Promoting Peaceful Journalistic Media Platforms Ahead of Elections 2024,” for 15 journalists selected from various media houses in the Volta Region.
The programme which took place last Thursday was part of the “GJA/US Embassy Ghana Elections 2024 Project: Journalists for Peaceful Discourse.”
Mr Yeboah said the 2024 election was critical in Ghana’s political history and the media had an important role to play in contributing to its smooth and peaceful course.
For that reason, he pointed out that journalists must always uphold the ethics of their profession, abide by the truth and cross-check their facts in the discharge of their duties, without compromise.
“Our profession thrives on credibility and speed must not override accuracy,” Mr Yeboah added.
Further, he said, journalism was not about insults but rather about engaging ideas.
Mr Yeboah maintained that what Ghana needed now was ‘peace journalism’ and not ‘war journalism.’
The Public Affairs Officer of the GJA, Rebecca Ekpe, said the media’s role in preserving Ghana’s democracy before, during and after the 2024 elections was crucial.
“It is our duty to provide the right and equal platforms for all Ghanaians to express their views, without taking sides,” she said.
The GJA Public Affairs Officer said misguided political commentary could trigger violence in a volatile political atmosphere.
Hence, she maintained the GJA would always stand for professional journalism and peaceful solutions to all political disputes.
Ms Ekpe reminded the participants that credibility and trust in media reportage were key in engaging the people and ensuring stability in the country.
The Volta Regional Secretary of the GJA, Fred Duodu said fact-checking, objective evidence and value judgement must be supreme in media coverage to ensure harmony in the country.
The training topics included Facts-checking for Peace Sensitive Reportage in Elections Coverage, and Integrity of Elections? Media’s Role.
Present was the Oti Regional Director of the Electoral Commission, Nuhu Mahama, and representatives of the New Patriotic Party and the National Democratic Congress.