A Senior lecturer at the Department of Political Science of the University of Ghana, Legon, Dr. Seidu Alidu has cautioned journalists against playing the roles of stooges for politicians in the countdown to the general elections.
He said journalists who accept offers to deliver the agenda of some politicians risk losing their credibility not only before the public, but also among the very politicians who engaged them for such purposes.
Dr Alidu was speaking at an engagement with journalists and radio presenters drawn from various media houses in the Volta Region at Ho on Friday.
The programme sought to sensitise journalists on the use of the media to promote peace.
“The politician who influenced you to write in his favour, is the same person who will tell his colleagues about how easy you are to be influenced,” he added.
Dr Alidu said that the concern for peace before, during and after the elections was paramount to the citizenry, and that underlined the need for journalists to perform their function without compromise.
The senior lecturer noted that Ghana’s strong democratic institutions, coupled with the citizens’ belief in those institutions had relatively reduced the risk of a full blown electoral violence.
Apart from that, Dr Alidu said that the institutionalisation of, and the collaborative working process of civic society groups in the country had largely helped in preventing and also resolving election-related violence in the country.
In that vein, journalists needed to establish some authority by being able to communicate with the ordinary people whose lives were being affected by social problems, including violence, he said.
The acting Volta Region President of the Ghana Journalists Association, Kafui Kanyi, cautioned media practitioners against wearing or using political party paraphernalia whilst on assignment.
From Alberto Mario Noretti, Ho