The Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) has called for protection for the Upper East Regional Correspondent of Starr FM, Edward Adeti whose investigative work has led to the resignation of a Minister of State, Mr Rockson Bukari.
The GJA has also condemned the robbery attack and threats perpetrated against the journalist following the publication of his work.
Speaking at this year’s World Press Freedom Day on Friday, the President of GJA, Mr Affail Monney, said “while vehemently condemning the threats and robbery perpetrated against the reporter, we urge National Security to move with urgent promptitude to provide all the protection he desperately needs.”
This year’s World Press Freedom Day was marked on the theme: “Media for democracy: journalism and elections in times disinformation.”
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Mr Monney said the recent murder of Ahmed Hussein Suale is still fresh in the minds of many Ghanaians, particularly journalists and there shouldn’t be a repeat of such a heinous crime against any journalist in the country.
“History they say repeats itself with a higher price,” Mr Monney said, adding “Any repetition of the assassination of Ahmed Saule in the most tragic circumstances will inflict a national harm of incalculable proportions.”
Nonetheless, he commended the journalist for his boldness in rejecting a bribe from a Minister of State which has led to the latter resigning from his position.
“We doff our hats for the character erection and moral perfection of the reporter who refused to accept a bribe to squelch the damaging story.”
Mr Monney also commended Ghanaian journalists for the assiduous work over the years, and further urged them not to be weary of doing what would promote the rights and freedom of the citizenry as well as the overall development of the country.
He said the GJA is partnering mobile telecommunications giant, MTN, to train some Ghanaian journalists on ethical journalism.
The training, Mr Monney said, would help to “cure the cancerous spread of ethical bankruptcy and professional mediocrity in sections of the media” in Ghana.
A former President of the Ghana Journalists Association, Madam Adjoa Yeboah Afari, urged journalists to fight fake news with factual reporting.
According to her, the proliferation of fake news in the media and on social media could only be fought with factual reporting.
The Head of Office and Representative of UNESCO in Accra, Mr Abdourahamane Diallo, in an address said “the existence of free, pluralistic and independent media is a prerequisite for the proper functioning of democracies.”
According to him, independent journalism provides an opportunity to present facts to citizens and to form an opinion.
“Press freedom guarantees transparent societies where everyonre can access information,” Mr Diallo said, adding that celebration of press freedom was essential to any democracy.
A Deputy Minister of Information, Mr Pius Enam-Hadzide, implored joyrnalists to avoid sensationalism at the expense of accuracy.
“We cannot sacrifice balanced reportage on the altar of expediency and getting ahead of the market,” he said, stressing that “Government is in the process of implementing a Media Capacity Enhancement Programme to boost the capacity of media practitioners in the delivery of their mandate.”