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General News of Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Ghanaian journalists should learn from Rwandan genocide – Boadu-Ayeboafo

General Manager in-charge of Newspapers at the Graphic Communications Group has urged journalists in Ghana to be careful about the information they put out for public consumption as that can make or break the nation.

Speaking on the freedom of expression of journalists at a forum organised by the Ghana Journalists Association, Yaw Boadu-Ayeboafo stressed on the need for Ghanaian journalists to be guarded in every publication and advised that they use their freedom and privileges with responsibility.

Mr. Boadu-Ayeboafo said fabricated publications attract social conflict and in turn drive investors away adding that, “False or distorted news of a sensational kind can do considerable harm to difference countries and various political and social forces.”

He advised media practitioners to draw lessons from the Rwandan genocide where an estimated 500,000 to 1,000,000 people died due to fabricated and exaggerated reports from the media and encouraged them to think carefully about the repercussions of their stories before they are published.

“What happened in Rwanda has become a classical example of media gone awry and that should remind us at all times that when we are doing some of those things that we do, sometimes we are thoughtless because we are not thinking beyond the moment. We should think before we act,” he said.

“We must be reminded about the RTLM Radio Television Libre des Milles Collines and the newspaper called Kangura that were the key elements of the genocide in Rwanda and what they did to exacerbate the genocide. And people thought that they were doing it in the interest of freedom of expression and that is why we need to be very cautious,” he added.

The Rwandan Genocide which gained worldwide interest in 1994 was a conflict between the Tutsis and the Hutus, leaving most of the Tutsis dead.

The genocide was triggered after Rwandan President Juvenal Habyarimana, a Hutu was assassinated.



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