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General News of Saturday, 3 August 2019

Source: Ghananewsagency.org

Journalists urged to be mindful of juveniles in their reportage

Superintendent David Selorm Hukportie, Crime and Investigation Directorate (CID), Operations of the Ghana Police Service (GPS), has urged journalists to be careful when reporting on cases that had to do with juveniles to protect their image.

He said that anybody who was arrested or got involved in a criminal case remained a suspect unless proven or otherwise by the court, hence it was a best practice that journalist would preserve the image of juveniles to preserve their future.

Supt Hukportie said at the opening of a two-day training workshop which was organised by the GPS in Accra to equip crime reporters to develop the specialised skill of crime reporting and policing.

He said it was important for participant to desist from the publication of misleading stories, which had an effect on the perception of public, broke trust and created unhealthy controversies which in most situations hindered the process of investigations.

Professor Kwame Karikari, a Communication Consultant, also educated the journalists that it was important that they were guided by the ethical principles which governed the use of cameras.

He said it was important for journalists to work hand in hand with the police at crime scenes in order not to undermine the process of police investigation of crime.

Prof Karikari noted that any journalist who had a complaint should pass.

The complaint through the created mechanisms and procedures by the GPS and the National Media Commission (NMC), to have their grievances addressed.

He advised journalists that in the delivery of their mandate they must not become the news by avoiding every circumstance which could lead to a misunderstanding between the police and the Journalist.

Supt Francis Baah, a lecturer at the police detective school, said that crime reporters should exercise some restraint and understand the process of investigation for it was systematic in nature.

He said the premature publication of information could be a source of information to criminal, which could course them to take cover, making the work of the police take much time than expected.

Mr Yaw Boadu-Ayaboafo, Chairman NMC, said that participants should be meticulous, humble themselves to learn more into the subject of crime reporting to make them well informed to despatch their duties well as they reported on crime issues.

He said it was the responsibility of journalist to set the record straight and to be sure before reporting on issues.

He advised them to desist from publications which targeted minors, persons in distress, stereotyping, stating that xenophobic attacks were predicated on such issues.

He said journalist should be firm and not allow any forms of influences to affect their choice of story, “for not every opinion mattered in the opinion”.