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Regional News of Sunday, 30 August 2020

Source: GNA

Be bold and courageous to cover the 2020 Elections- Nana Nketiah V

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The Paramount Chief of the Essikado traditional area, Nana Kobina Nketiah V, has urged journalists to uphold the values and ethics of their profession in their work during the December polls.

He said journalists could effectively cover this year's competitive Election if they are bold and courageous.

"No journalists can do a good coverage of this year's elections clouded in fear," adding that the journalists should be able to inform the public and not to misinform or to disinform them.

Nana Nketiah V, who was addressing journalists at the 'Media Convention 2020' in Takoradi, called for fair-mindedness, consciousness and strict adherence to professional ethics.

The programme was sponsored by the US Embassy, and organized by the Ghana Journalists' Association (GJA).

It brought together selected media institutions from the Western, Western North and Central Regions.

Other participants included the security agencies and representatives of political parties.

It was on the theme: “The 2020 Election: Role of the Media in Promoting Civility and Discernment in the Political Discourse.”

It served as a platform for dialogue by the stakeholders on issues relating to this year's Presidential and Parliamentary Elections.

Topics discussed included, 'GJA Guidelines on Election Coverage and the various Guidelines of the NMC: Correlation and Synergies', 'Concerns and Expectations of the EC, political parties and security agencies on Media Coverage of Election 2020', and 'Social Media as a Tool for Information Flow - Prospects and Challenges'.

The Paramount Chief said the media must promote the public interest, saying the media must not allow their parochial interest to cloud their sense of judgment as they report on political activities ahead of the December General Elections.

He underscored the importance of journalists in the dispensation of multi-party democracy and tasked them to report the truth fairly and objectively.

Nana Nketiah V pointed out that the media must serve as a mouth-piece and a guide to the electorates by keeping them informed of the activities and Programmes of the various political parties to enable the populace to make informed decisions.

He reminded journalists of the need to always present truthful, factual and unbiased information.

They should also ensure duty-bearers are accountable for their work and promises to the people.

Vice-President of the GJA, Mrs Linda Asante-Agyei, stressed the critical role the media had played in strengthening democracy and the rule of law under the Fourth Republican Constitution.

She said the 2020 polls presented another challenge to the media to be alive to their responsibilities by helping to reduce needless tension to ensure stability and sustainable development

Mrs Asante-Agyei said the Association under the 'Media Convention' project, would continue to engage stakeholders for dialogue as it sought to create a harmonious environment before, during, and after the December General Election.

She lauded the American Embassy for being a faithful partner in GJA activities, noting that the Ghanaian media has the responsibility to shape the elections, promote issues-based campaigns and to promote voter education.

Dr Anthony Bonnah Koomson, a media consultant tasked journalists to be passionate about the code of ethics and conduct, adding that a good journalist should carry the burden of others.

He said the media was doing quite well and journalists were now doing more follow-ups on government projects and taking duty-bearers to the task.

Dr Koomson pointed out that "democracy suffers when journalists are not professional in their work and if they are not professional with their work it could lead to violence."