President John Dramani Mahama on Wednesday appealed to the media to adhere to professional ethics that are in conformity with international standards.
He said the proliferation of social media was also becoming a danger to the media landscape as most things were put up there without verification.
“The basic principles and ethics, facts searching and attributions are still necessary in the broadcasting or publication of any news item to the people out there,” the President said.
President Mahama said this when he addressed the National Conference of “Broadcasting pluralism: Press Freedom and Democratic Governance in Ghana” in Accra.
The conference would among other things review the performance of independent broadcasting for the past 20 years and find lasting solutions to some of the challenges facing the industry.
It was attended by owners of independent media, professional media bodies, and media partners from the state.
President Mahama said the dangers of social media were demonstrated by the reportage of the lady busted at Heathrow Airport for allegedly possessing 12.5 kilogrammes of cocaine.
He said if painstaking verification was carried it would have avoided misinformation that was carried out about the lady’s possession of diplomatic passport and affiliation to government.
That notwithstanding, President Mahama said the Bureau of National Investigation was carrying out their constitutional mandate and therefore did not violate the rights of the Journalists that were invited for questioning as had been spewed out in some sections of the media.
He said Journalists must see themselves as actors on the international stage whose contributions and credibility should not be in doubt.
President Mahama also called for cordial relations between government and the media to catapult the socio-economic development of Ghana in this decade and beyond.
The President added that the phone-in segments of most radio stations made them vulnerable to the dangers of broadcasting urging them them to find a way of filtering those utterances for the betterment of the country.
He promised that his administration would pursue the drafting and passing of the broadcast bill into law to make it the media formidable.
Dr Charles Wereko-Brobbey, a policy analyst who pioneered independent broadcasting when he opened Radio Eye, said although Frequency Modulation stations were supposed to be working within a limited radius most of them were now broadcasting beyond their limit and this needed to be debated on.
He also called for the institution of professionalism in radio stations to enable them to carry out their constitutional mandate.