Media practitioners urged to be decorous in reportage

The Deputy Minister of Information, Mrs Fatimatu Abubakar, has advised media practitioners to be decorous in their reportage in order to ensure sanity in the media space.

According to her, recent cases of arrest and assault of journalists were major cause of concern as it undermined press freedom.

She gave the advice during the celebration of the World Radio Day in Accra organised by the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) in partnership with the Ghana Institute of Journalism (GIJ) and Ghana Journalists Association (GJA).

The programme was on the theme “Radio and Trust: The Ghanaian story in the Fourth Republic”.

Mrs Abubakar said the 4th Republic had been the most successful period of democratic governance in the country due to diversity of languages used in broadcasting as most people have the opportunity to freely air their opinions.

The Deputy Sector Minister continued that “trust in radio means the production, independence and hard quality contents in order to keep or raise listeners’ trust.”

For this reason, Mrs Abubakar urged radio producers to conduct adequate research and verify information before broadcasting them in order to produce high quality content and maintain the trust it had established with its audience.

She further entreated protectors of radio stations, including corporate society organisations (CSOs) not to be one-sided in their public commentary on protecting the media space.

For her part, the General Secretary, Ghana Commission for UNESCO, MrsAma Serwaa Nerquaye Tetteh, highlighted the impact that digitisation and COVID-19 have had on radio which was fuelled by misinformation and disinformation.

She also opined that this had also brought about a drop in revenue generation in the radio sector and therefore urged radio producers to develop contents devoid of misinformation and disinformation to win the trust of their audience.

The Director-General OF UNESCO, Ms Audrey Azoulay, pledged her outfit’s support for radio stations in the country as she commended them for displaying diversity in terms of language, gender and ideas.

Speaking at the event, the President of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA), Mr Roland Affail Monney, lauded broadcast journalists for their contributions to the country’s democratic governance.

He further explained that “as we celebrate the hard work of broadcast journalists, it was important for them to adhere to the basic journalistic principles in order to feed the public with adequate information.”

Mr Monney also noted that the use of judicial powers had impact on media freedom, and hence entreated government to be critical and circumspect in dealing with issues of media assault.

Mr Eric Opoku Mensah, the Deputy Rector of GIJ, took the opportunity to commend the hard work of broadcasters for their roles played in democratic governance.

He also encouraged students of the institute to tap in the knowledge of those who had excelled in the profession and adhere to its ethics.       

BY BENJAMIN ARCTON-TETTEY & ANITA ANKRAH

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