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General News of Thursday, 26 April 2018


Press freedom has been a ‘long and tough’ journey – Affail Monney

Roland Affail Monney, GJA President play videoRoland Affail Monney, GJA President

President of the Ghana Journalists Association, Roland Affail Monney, has said the Ghanaian media has come a long way in terms of freedom of the press after the switch from dictatorship to democracy.

According to him, “It is been a quarter of a century since Ghana switched from dictatorship to democracy and it is evident in theory and rooted in practice that democracy is impossible without a free media.”

Speaking at the World Press Freedom Day Symposium in Accra, themed ‘Addressing Press Freedom in Ghana’s Search for Democracy; Lessons Learned and the Way Forward,’ Dr Affail Monney reminded journalists of how “long and tough” the journey to Ghana’s press freedom has been.

He observed that although freedom is at the heart of the profession, there were a number of lessons to be learnt including truth and honour which must be the hallmark of journalists in delivering news items as practitioners.

National Media Commission Chairman, Nana Kwasi Gyan-Appenteng, however, said despite the agitation of the media’s freedom goes as far back as independence, reporters must extend their freedom and independence in order to be bias in their reportage.

To buttress his point, the former acting Director of the Graphic Communications Group Limited said “What we must do is to deepen what the constitution calls the freedom and independence of the media because that is not an event, it is not a single achievement. It is something that must be perfected, something that must be deepened every day. Today we have the freedom sadly but not the independence.”

He urged pressmen not to easily forget the freedom fought for the press by avoiding conflict of interest in the mode of pleasing political and business personalities.

Gyan-Appenteng indicated that, “too many journalists are in hock to other interests- either singing the tunes of the political masters or their business masters.”

“We should be honest when we say we have come a long way butt we have not come long enough to forget the colours. It will be dangerous to forget the past. It will be very dangerous to pretend the challenges on the way will be easy to surmount. It will need as much of a strenuous struggle as to what got us here,” he added.

The World Press Freedom Day Symposium was held to access how far the Ghanaian media has come, how best it has performed, the shortcomings as well as how best professionals can use the press to address national issues.

The Symposium was organised in anticipation of the World Press Freedom Day slated for May 2 and May 3 under the theme: “Keeping power in check: media, justice and the rule of law.”

The event, which will be hosted by Ghana, is expected to feature over 700 participants, including journalists, civil society, policy makers, representatives of the judiciary and academia from across the globe.

They will converge in Accra to discuss the latest developments and challenges related to press freedom, and the safety of journalists. The event is expected to be reinforced by some 100 national events across the world.

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