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General News of Saturday, 3 August 2019

Source: Ghananewsagency.org

Be meticulous in the reportage of crimes - NMC Chairman

Mr Yaw Boadu-Ayeboafo, the Chairman for the National Media Commission has advised journalists to be meticulous in their reportage on crimes in order not to misinform the public.

They are to cross-check information and educate the public on facts that were verifiable.

Mr Boadu-Ayeboafo was addressing crime reporters in Accra on Friday, at the end of a- two-day training workshop on crime reporting and policing organised by the Ghana Police Service (GPS).

Participants were taken through the command structure of the GPS, directives on police officers public/media engagements, police investigations and media work, framework for police-media relations, procedure for complaint against police misconduct, procedures in crime investigation, among others.

Taking participants through ethics in crime reporting, Mr Boadu-Ayeboafo said audience make their judgments from the information given to them.

He advised them to understand the processes and procedures in the area to properly educate the members of the public.

They should also ensure they did not jeopardize suspects before the court pronounced them guilty, or otherwise adding that the slips they make would affect one person in one way or the other.

Mr Boadu-Ayeboafo who was also a former Director of Newspapers with the Graphic Communications Group urged journalists to be humble to accept their mistakes and come out with a rejoinder where necessary.

Mr Boadu-Ayeboafo charged them to be professionals and desist from being influenced by the reports they make, avoid stereotyping, and also being used as puns by people to do their bidding, avoid words that suggests hate, and protect minors and the vulnerable by not exposing them to public ridicule among others.

He said as crime reporters they were obliged to cooperate with lawful state security agencies, explaining that in as much as the constitution guaranteed their mandate, that of the police was also guaranteed, thus, there must be mutual respect between the two.

Chief Superintendent John Opoku of the Police Professional Standards Bureau, formerly PIPS in his presentation disclosed that in 2018, out of the 1709 police misconducts reported, 17 personnel were dismissed, three had a reduction in rank and two were dismissed.

He said 550 were completed, whilst 335 were closed with 804 still pending due to loss of interest by petitioners, among other challenges.

Superintendent Francis Baah (Retired), advised media personnel to do balanced reportage since most complainants approach the media for revenge and not for justice.

Superintendent David Selom Hukportie, in charge of Criminal Investigation Directorate (CID) Operations asked journalists to cooperate with investigators in order that they do not lost vital evidence which may make suspects get off the hook.

Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) David Eklu, Director General of Public Affairs advised reporters to learn negotiating skills to reduce friction between them and the police.

Professor Kwame Karikari, Communications Consultant advised personnel to put their safety first in the course of their duty. They should make sure they did not expose police to unwarranted public danger.