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Regional News of Sunday, 22 June 2014

Source: GNA

Base conflict reports on tenets of democracy

Mr. Francis Azuimi, Executive Secretary to the National Peace Council (NPC), has called on the media to consider the tenets of democracy in reporting on conflict situations.

Mr Azuimi made the call in Bolgatanga where journalists in the region received a two-day training to build their capacities on responsible conflict reporting and peace-building.

The training which was organized by the NPC in partnership with IBIS Ghana, aimed at strengthening and promoting media relations on conflict reporting towards the forthcoming District Level Elections (DLE), attracted journalists from both state and private media, and.

Mr. Azuimi urged journalists to be circumspect in their roles as writers, and said they should be mindful of sensitive reportage on traditions and cultures, to ensure that peace prevailed in all facets of the country. He added that there could not be effective democracy without peace and security.

He indicated that NPC’s collaboration with IBIS Ghana was critical as partners in deepening democracy in Ghana, and said his outfit was promoting media relations to encourage responsible journalism, adding that the training in the Northern, Upper East and Upper West Regions, was essential.

He expressed the hope to extend it to other parts of the country.

He said though the NPC was operating at the district levels, it was in the process of empowering Regional Peace Councils to systematically enhance their capacities for them to manage District Peace Councils in the regions.

Mr. Justin Bayor, an official of IBIS Ghana, expressed worry at the commercialization and sensationalism in the media front, and said such acts were not necessary in reporting on conflicts or conflict situations.

He indicated that the media had gained notoriety in inflaming passion, and expressed the hope that the partnership with NPC in promoting peace in the country would be successful.

He expressed the hope that the training would encourage journalists to carry out research, cross check facts and appreciate issues that were most likely to escalate conflicts before reporting on them.