General News of Friday, 26 October 2012

Source: GNA

Don't allow 'serial callers' to set the agendas, Media urged

Mr. Kabral Blay-Amihere, Chairman of the National Media Commission (NMC), Thursday called on editors and radio station managers not to allow “serial callers” to set the agenda for public discourse.

“Stop the trend. It is not good for our profession,” he said.

Mr Blay-Amihere made the call at a day’s workshop with media owners and chief executives on professional standards in Ho.

The workshop, under the auspices of the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) was on the theme; “Stand Up for Ghana” and it attracted media owners and chief executives from Greater Accra, Eastern and Volta Regions.

Mr. Blay-Amihere said “serial callers” gradually were beginning to dictate to the media what it should do, a practice he described as “dangerous” for the country’s democracy.

He called on the editors to be diligent in their gate keeping roles saying the situation was affecting professionalism hence there was the need for editors, programme hosts and producers to play their gate-keeping roles in a professionally.

Professor Kwame Karikari, Executive Director of Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA), who gave an overview of the “Media Monitoring Project”, urged journalists not to allow politicians to dictate to them saying “your responsibilities are beyond the politicians’ narrow interests”.

Prof Karikari said the “Media Monitoring Project” was yielding results and that very soon media houses which allowed indecent language to be used through their mediums would be named and shamed.

Alhaji Abdul-Rahman Harruna Attah, a Board Member of the Ghana News Agency, took the participants through an “overview of the guidelines for fair and equitable reporting.”

He called for the establishment of research departments in media houses to enhance news reports.

Mrs Charlotte Osei, Chairperson of NCCE, said the country was “too polarized” and was hopeful the “Stand Up for Ghana” project would unite the people.

She said the Commission remained a credible non-partisan institution committed to promoting the understanding and commitment to democracy as well as inculcating in the citizenry awareness of their rights and obligations.

Mrs Osei said it was important for the media to remain focused and exercise its freedom with responsibility.