General News of Monday, 20 October 2003
Sunyani, Oct. 20, GNA - Mr. Charles Koomson, Brong Ahafo Regional Manager of Ghana News Agency, has condemned the practice by some media practitioners to stifle the efforts of their colleagues in informing the people about events.
''The ethics of the profession does not allow any media practitioner to debar another in news gathering and dissemination.''
''It is unfortunate that some of our colleagues are in the obnoxious practice, thereby denying colleagues the opportunity to keep the people abreast with issues, ostensibly for insignificant monetary reasons.''
Mr Koomson was contributing at a public forum on ''The Right to Information Bill'' in Sunyani organized by the Accra office of the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative, an NGO, in collaboration with the British Council.
Among those present were traditional leaders, heads of departments, professionals, labour representatives and a cross section of the public. Dr. Anthony Bonna-Koomson, a senior lecturer at the University of Ghana, Mr Cyril Acolatse, both members of the National Media Commission and Mr Yaw Boadu-Ayeboafo, Editor of the Daily Graphic also participated.
Mr Koomson expressed regret that some media houses are exploiting the ignorance of some people on the workings of the various media houses to their undue advantage, citing that some staff of such media houses even go the extent of pressurising organisers of events not to invite other media houses.
''It is a very nauseating and unhealthy experience as such perpetrators have had a field day because one may be tempted not to blame them as in our part of the world most of our people call every toothpaste ''Pepsodent'' and every newspaper, be it ''New York Times'', ''Washington Post'' or ''Daily Telegraph'' as ''Graphic.''
The GNA Regional Manager cautioned that this development could defeat the purpose of the bill "that seeks to help uproot corruption, unproductive secrecy and bribery in society".
"As professionals of proven integrity and members of the fourth estate of the realm, journalists need not jettison the ethics that bind us in offering truthful and unbiased news stories to spur on national development".
Mr Koomson said some media practitioners, blinded by their love for monetary gains, have perpetuated the practice, especially in the regions "and to avoid us washing our dirty linen in public, we need to do the right thing to save the image of our noble profession."