Don’t misuse media ‘power’ – Presby Church advices journalists

The General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana has observed with deep concern the growing encroachment on press freedom in the country.

It, therefore, urged the government to deal with the impunity with which the rights of journalists were trampled upon to ensure that they go about their duties with a sense of safety and security.

These were contained in a communiqué issued at the end of a 7-day general assembly meeting held at Abetifi during which Rev Dr Godwin Nii Noi Odonkor was elected Clerk to replace Rev Dr Samuel Ayetey-Nyampong.

The 13-point eight page communiqué which was read by the Presbyterian Church of Ghana Moderator, Rt Rev Prof Joseph Obiri Yeboah Mante at the end of its 19th General Assembly Meeting at Abetifi yesterday, noted that the number of attacks on journalists in Ghana had gone up as recorded in world ranking published in the World Press Freedom Index by Reporters Without Borders.

The communiqué specifically cited Joy Fm reports at the end of 2018 about the wide spread abuses on 17 journalists within 15 months and called on government to ensure that journalists in Ghana go about their work with peace and safety.

In the communiqué, the General Assembly assured the journalists of PCG’s support and urged them to be courageous in plying their trade as part of their mission to pursue truth and justice for all.

The communiqué called on journalists in Ghana to approach their work with a sense of fairness, commitment to truth and avoid journalism by extortion and blackmail that destroys the hard-won reputation of others.

“Misuse of media power is as evil as state suppression of press freedom” it stated.

On the Socio-economic issues, the communiqué commended President Nana Akufo Addo and the government for the prudent manner they have handled the affairs of the state, especially the passing of the Right to Information Bill.

It also lauded the government for the bold effort it made to manage the economy.

The church however, urged government to translate the economy to reflect in tangible ways in the people’s lives by doing everything possible to reduce the high cost of living in the country.

The communiqué called on the government and the state institutions to work with the law courts to swiftly punish all those found guilty of corruption.

The communiqué noted with adminiration the government’s efforts to hold the nation together in peace despite the numerous challenges that confronted it.

The communiqué congratulated Parliament and the President for passing the Vigilantism and Related Offences Bill into law but called on political parties especially the NPP and NDC to demonstrate commitment to peace as the country approached the 2020 general elections.

Pictures The Moderator of the PCG Rt Rev Prof J.O.Y. Mante (middle) flanked by the newly elected Clerk of the General Assembly Rev Dr Godwin Nii Noi Odonkor (right) and Rev Dr Samuel Ayertey-Nyampong (the outdoing Clerk) (left).

From Samuel Opare Lartey, Abetifi-Kwahu.

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