Mr Caesar Abagali, Northern Regional Chairman of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA), has advised journalists to exhibit high journalistic standards in election reporting to reduce tensions often created before, during and after elections.
He said it was necessary for journalists to desist from aiding politicians to use the media to achieve their selfish political gains that sometimes resulted in political turmoil which created divisions among the people.
Mr Abagali gave the advice in Tamale on Wednesday during a media training workshop on the theme: ?Improving the Quality of Information in the Electoral Process,? organised by the Electoral Commission (EC) and sponsored by the United States Agency for International Development.
Mr Abagali,speaking on; ?Media Contribution to Election Success,? said some of the political conflicts in the country were attributable to irresponsible journalism which must stop to give credence to the practice of journalism for peace, unity and togetherness to prevail.
He said the practice where some high profile media personnel were used as propaganda mouth pieces for some political parties defeated the purpose of journalism practice and that it was important for senior journalists to live lives worth emulation to give the noble profession a good name.
He said reporting elections was very sensitive and that it was necessary for journalists to exhibit high journalistic standards before, during and after elections especially in conflict prone areas so as not to inflame passions.
Mr Abagali warned that the Northern Regional chapter of the GJA would blacklist any journalist whose report sparked violence saying; ?we in the Northern Region would not hesitate to sanction any journalist who would not adhere to the professional ethics and whose work would inflame passion?.
He commended journalists in the region for improving on their reportage during the 2012 Elections and expressed hope that the 2016 Elections would see a better improvement and advised the EC to put mechanisms in place to respond to pertinent issues.
Mr Amadu Sulley, Deputy Chairman of the EC in charge of Operations, said the EC was ready for the District Level Elections (DLE) and advised media practitioners to support it to make the elections successful.
He stressed that the DLE was purely non-partisan and that any candidate who campaigned on any political party name, ticket or did anything to suggest that he belonged to a political party would be disqualified.
Mr Bruce Ayisi, Northern Regional Director of the EC, said the media was an important collaborator in the conduct of all elections and appealed to them to always crosscheck facts with the EC before reporting on technical issues.