Media General, a private news hub in the country has launched its Election Command Centre (ECC) with the aim of promoting peace and stability in the country before, during and after the 2020 elections.
With the hashtag #Ipledegeforpeace, the ECC would, among others, promote the agenda of a free and fair election, whilst giving equal platforms to political parties and other stakeholders in the upcoming elections.
Launching the centre in Accra on Tuesday, the Group Chief Executive Officer of Media General, Beatrice Agyeman-Abbey, said the media was powerful and the voice of the people, adding that every information given could either positively or negatively impact on the society.
She said her outfit was; therefore, ready to partner all relevant players in this year’s election to have a peaceful country.
Mrs Agyeman-Abbey said every information put on social media has its implications; it was, therefore, the responsibility of media personnel to be mindful of any news material they churn out.
The Deputy Minister of Information, Pius Enam Hadzide said free and fair elections were rights guaranteed by the 1992 Constitution, which should be anchored on truthful, reliable and adequate information.
This, according to him, should be packaged and transmitted in a responsible and ethical manner, saying “this is the responsibility of the media as the fourth estate of the realm.”
He said the media offer political parties and their candidates fair opportunities to share and discuss information on their various decisions and plans of the society.
The Deputy Minister encouraged the media to choose optimism over extreme negativity and pessimism, and pay attention to the several benefits of the various interventions and programmes of government.
Mr Hadzide said the government was committed to generation and maintenance of an environment conducive to the practice of safe and responsible journalism.
A board member of the National Peace Council (NPC), Rev Dr Nii Amoo-Darku, urged political parties, groups and individuals to be decorous and circumspect in their campaigning, in view of the upcoming elections.
He also called on the eminent leaders of the various political parties to demonstrate leadership and hold their supporters in check to ensure that, they do not engage in acts that could plunge the country into chaos.
Present at the event were members of two political parties — New Patriotic Party (NPP) and National Democratic Congress (NDC), the spokesperson of the National Chief Imam, Dr Osman Nuhu Sharubutu, the Australian High Commissioner to Ghana, Mr Andrew Barnes, Chairman of the National Media Commission, Mr Yaw Boadu Ayeboafoh, president of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA), Mr Roland Affail Monney and some students of the Ghana Institute of Journalism (GIJ).
BY JEMIMA ESINAM KUATSINU