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MPs call for protection of journalists

BY: Daniel Kenu
Akwasi Konadu — MP for Manhyia North
Akwasi Konadu — MP for Manhyia North

Members of Parliament yesterday called for the protection and safety of journalists to mark this year’s International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists.

The day is set aside to draw attention to crimes against journalists, which remains high globally.

The common thread that run through the presentations made by MPs was the need to help end the crimes perpetrated against journalists in the line of duty.

The members were contributing to a statement made by the Member of Parliament (MP) for Manhyia North, Akwasi Konadu, to mark the day.

Mr Konadu whose statement focused on the killing of investigative journalist, Ahmed H. Suale, said the increase in the killing of journalists globally was alarming and endangered free speech and expression.

He called for intensive action to protect journalists and enhance their welfare.


Contributing to the statement, the Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu, called for the regulation of the content of social media to sanitise the media space.

He said social media was the source of lots of misinformation and needed to be regulated.

The Minority Leader said the regulation of social media would help cure deliberate and diabolical publications.

He called for a new broadcasting bill or law to set the parameters of the state broadcaster, the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC) akin to the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC).

The Minority leader said such a bill should set clear differentiation between state, national, community and other allied transmission bodies to aid definition.

He called for a speedy investigation and trial of the killers of investigative journalist, Mr. Suale, to bring some confidence into the industry.

Majority

He advised journalists not to assume the attitude of "knowing it all" and claiming to be authorities on all subjects.

Backing the Minority leader's assessment, the Majority Leader, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, said journalists should be ready to allow themselves and their work to be perused and critiqued by experts on subjects that they discussed.

According to him, the killings of journalists was unacceptable and needed to be nipped in the bud.

He said journalists were partners of Parliament to promote accountability and good governance, and as such the two should continue to work hand-in-hand.

For his part, the MP for Akim Abuakwa South Constituency, Samuel Atta Akyea, said reputations were built over years and it was important that journalists were not influenced unduly to attack people.