The Chairman of the Electoral Commission, Mrs Charlotte Osei, at the weekend, admonished the media to sanitise their work in the run-up to the December 7 polls.
Addressing the 21st Ghana Journalists Award ceremony in Accra Mrs Osei said “a sanitised and well informed media is critical for the success of the election”.
The EC boss who was the guest speaker, observed that the media was filled with insults, attacks on personalities and institutions, and stressed the need for media practitioners and owners to conduct themselves well during the period.
Mrs. Osei’s admonition, which could not have come at a better time, is also on point.
The Times has no doubt that the message has gone down well with not only the media, but all those who use the media platforms to attack and insult their political opponents.
Infact, we are not surprised at the advice offered by Mrs. Osei because this is not the first time she is advising the media to desist from using their platforms to attack personalities and institutions.
Indeed, she has been a victim herself and, therefore, it was appropriate and just for her to tell it as it is, when she spoke to the journalists.
We have no doubt that journalists themselves would agree with Mrs. Osei that they have sometimes engaged in unprofessional practice.
Again, the admonishment is one more in addition to several ones given by others cautioning the media against unprofessional practice.
We are certain that recent developments, particularly the Montie 3 palaver, should be of great lesson to media professionals in the country.
And as said by the EC boss, the media has a great role to play to protect the interest of the public, be responsible, act within the law and respect the values of society.
It is in this light that the Ghana Journalists Association, the National Media Commission and a cross-section of Ghanaians continue to appeal to journalists to respect the code of ethics and the rules and regulations of the profession.
Fortunately, both the GJA and the NMC have guidelines for election coverage, and it is our hope that journalists would study it and use it as a guide for the coverage of the election.
We are hopeful that when journalists and media practitioners abide by the code of ethics and practise within the boundaries of the law, they would not allow insults and attacks which can affect the 2016 general elections.