The Knustford University College (KUC) on Saturday held its sixth graduation and seventh matriculation ceremony in Accra with a call on the media to effectively discharge its duties ahead of the December 7 elections to protect the country’s democracy.
A total of 173 students graduated in various degree programmes alongside 46 journalists who had completed a three-month intensive leadership and communication course offered freely by the university.
Another 73 students, comprising 42 males and 31 females were also matriculated at the event which had the theme, “Deepening Africa’s democracy: the role of the media.”
Delivering his key note address, Mr. Affail Monney, President of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA), implored media practitioners to be guided by the lessons of past elections and exercise restraint in their reportage so as not to plunge the country into chaos.
“The bad examples in 2008 and 2012 which saw media-induced tensions exceeding volcanic limits must provide a fountain of lesson from which all media practitioners must drink as the December 7, judgement day fast approaches.
“All journalists, trained or untrained must tilt their stories, make their comments, package their programmes and tailor their analysis towards the prevention of conflicts and preservation of peace,” he urged.
Mr. Monney further reminded the media of its vital role to empower electorates to make informed choices at the polls and not mislead them with biased, inaccurate and unwholesome reportage.
“With few days to the elections, the media must shun fraudulent, concocted or fabricated opinion polls with no empirical foundation and impose a black out on conflicting electoral predictions by dubious men of God who are agents of democratic decay,” he charged.
He commended the KUC for its enormous contributions towards shaping journalists and the entire media fraternity and urged graduands to be hard working and aspire for excellence in the world of work.
Dr. Douglas Akuamuah Boateng, Chancellor of KUC, also urged the “Electoral Commission (EC), government, opposition parties and all state and civil society organisations, especially the media, to work towards peaceful elections.”
Dr. Andrew Dadson, President of KUC, for his part, underscored the need for academia to focus attention on entrepreneurial and leadership courses to adequately prepare students for the job market.
He said the school was positioning itself in that area by rolling out new programmes to “fulfil the West African regional goals of job creation for a large number of our graduates.”
The overall best student award went to Benjamin Marcus Kogi while five other deserving students received special awards for distinctive performance in their respective disciplines.
By Abigail Annoh