The President of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA), Mr. Affail Monney, has charged the Graphic Communications Group Ltd (GCGL) and its brands to showcase their best in election coverage as they always do to enhance the image of the country.
He said the Daily Graphic, which symbolises distinctive quality, would be carefully watched by the international community for all the happenings in the country during the December 7 polls.
Mr. Monney said this when he and other members of the National Media Commission (NMC) called on the management of the GCGL in Accra yesterday as part of their visit to key media houses ahead of the December elections.
“The GCGL has the edge to encourage and hold aloft the banner of quality journalism and everybody will once again expect the same quality from it in these elections.
“We even want the group to scale up its performance to enhance the image of journalism in the country,” he added.
Mr. Monney further admonished staff of the company to be mindful of their gatekeeping role by ensuring that unverified information did not slip into the papers.
Mr. Ato Afful (head of table) speaking to the delegation from the NMC. With him are Mr. Affail Monney (right, partly covered), President, Ghana Journalists Association and member of the NMC, Mr. George Sarpong (2nd right), Executive Secretary, NMC; Mr. Prince Hari Crystal (3rd right), member of the NMC, and some executives of the GCGL. Picture: ESTHER ADJEI
According to the GJA President, the eyes of the international community would be on Ghana during the elections, and that the GCGL and its brands would be reference material for the global media.
He, therefore, appealed to the company not to let its guard down.
“The media in Ghana are being subjected to microscopic scrutiny and this is where we expect the GCGL to lead the charge,” he said.
He also reminded media practitioners of a GH¢40-million insurance cover from SIC Insurance to cover journalists who might suffer injuries in the coverage of the elections.
“A journalist who suffers any injury or death will receive GH¢4,000 and subsequently be paid a monthly allowance of GH¢3,000 for one-year by the SIC,” he said.
Mr. Monney also announced that the NMC would deploy an App that would capture all key incidents that would happen in any part of the country during the elections, adding that it would demonstrate the functions of the App and how it worked to journalists.
The representative of the Ghana Independent Broadcasters Association (GIBA) on the NMC, Mr. Prince Hari Crystal, appealed for collaboration between the association and the GCGL on the coverage of the elections.
He also admonished the media to adhere to the guidelines on election reporting, so that they could help maintain the peace the country was enjoying.
The Managing Director of the GCGL, Mr. Ato Afful, assured the visiting delegation that the GCGL and its brands would filter every information by cross-checking facts before publication.
“The Daily Graphic is a contemporary daily brand that chronicles our history,” he said, and urged editors of the various brands to strive for excellence which, he said, was the hallmark of the company.
Truthfulness, credibility, accuracy
The Editor of the Daily Graphic, Mr. Kobby Asmah, thanked the NMC delegation for the visit and the compliments paid the group, adding that the Daily Graphic would not shed its gatekeeping duties.
“We at the Daily Graphic have carved a niche for truthfulness, credibility and accuracy; these we consider very sacred,” he said.
Mr. Asmah said the paper did not also compromise on fairness and equitable coverage of all parties, irrespective of their size, adding: “It is a constitutional requirement and so we will endeavour to reach out to all parties and provide the needed coverage.”
He said the GCGL had embarked on a town hall meeting to commit key stakeholders to peace during and after the elections.