“Focus on investigative journalism to expose graft in country”

The Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition (GACC) has admonished journalists in the country to focus more on investigative journalism to expose corrupt individuals and institutions in the country.

According to the head of programmes of the Coalition, Mr Bright Sowu, such stories had the tendency of saving the nation huge sums of money, while protecting vulnerable people.

Speaking at a forum for students of the National Film and Television Institute (NAFTI) in Accra yesterday, he bemoaned the devastating effects corruption had on nations, stressing the media had the power to bring corruption under control.

The programme, which was held on the theme “Fighting corruption, the role of investigative journalism” formed part of activities to recognise the 2022 Anti-Corruption Day celebration.

It was organised by the Embassy of the United States of America (USA) in collaboration with NAFTI.

According to Mr Sowu, it was very important for journalists to eschew indiscipline in the discharge of their duties and make honesty a hallmark “instead of allowing themselves to be easily swayed with money to cover up corrupt individuals”.

He said targeting students for campaigns against corruption was a move in the right direction, and urged young people to emulate the steps of only leaders who had set good examples, instead of having the desire of getting rich quickly at all cost.

“We need to ensure the younger generation do not see corruption as something normal. The practice is becoming too common in this country that I feel we need to reverse the trend as a matter of urgency before the young ones grow up and see corruption as normal.”

Touching on the safety of investigative journalists in the country, Mr Sowu urged heads of various media houses to provide all the necessary resources to ensure investigative journalists were well protected, adding that without having such an assurance, journalists would not find the practice attractive or worth risking ones safety for.

In her remarks, Public Affairs Counsellor, US embassy, Ghana, Ms Virginia Elliott, indicated that Ghana and the USA shared common goals as two democratic nations, and worked together on a number of mutual interests such as protecting fundamental freedoms and human rights, inclusive growth and regional security.

However, she said corruption eroded progress on such goals, negatively affecting democratic societies.

She expressed worry about the threats some Ghanaian investigative journalists received from subjects of their investigations, hoping it would not deter others from venturing into investigative journalism.

Renowned investigative journalist, Manasseh Awuni Azure, delivering a presentation, revealed that the benefits of exposing corrupt individuals and organisations were very enormous, saying his investigative works resulted in the sacking and incarceration of all guilty persons involved in shady deals that cost the country millions of Cedis.

In one of his exposes titled ‘robbing the Assemblies,’ he revealed that a $74million fraudulent waste bins contract was cancelled.

This, he said, was just among a few of the many positive outcomes of his works, adding that works by other investigative journalists in the country, including Anas Aremeyaw Anas, had also produced significant impact.

He, therefore, encouraged student journalists to join the fight against corruption by developing and harnessing passion for investigative journalism.

BY RAISSA SAMBOU CHARLOTTE BARNS                         

Show More
Back to top button