Journalists urged to form an alliance to expose corruption

Section of the gathering at the Ecent
Section of the gathering at the Ecent

As the World celebrates Press Freedom Day, discussants at the various plenary sessions have called on journalists to unite and collaborate to make a strong impact.

With a united front and focus various investigated reports would be widely published and the safety of journalists would also be enhanced, they said.

The speakers proposed to civil society to forge an alliance with the media to expose the ills in society, especially issues regarding corruption.

More than 700 leading actors from the media, civil society, policy makers, representatives of the judiciary, and academia from all over the world are participating in this year’s World Press Freedom Day being organised by the UNESCO, in collaboration with the Government of Ghana.

The celebration, on the theme: “Keeping Power in Check: Media, Justice, and the Rule of Law,” is providing a platform for participants to discuss developments and pressing issues related to press freedom and the safety of journalists.

Mr Jose Ugaz, the Former ad-hoc Attorney of Peru and Board Member of Transparency International, speaking on the topic; “Focus on Investigative Journalism: Uncovering Corruption and Political Malpractice,” urged journalists to make accuracy a hallmark.

He said journalists needed to make sure accusers had the chance to respond to allegations and document the facts properly, which would be the “evidence to cover your back.”

Mr Ugaz said the media was a preferred partner for CSOs because they had special skills including accurate information gathering on specific cases, adding that civil society often needed those kinds of information to process and take action.

Mr Anas Aremeyaw Anas, a Ghanaian Investigative Journalist, reiterated the need for teamwork among journalists adding that “Investigative journalists need to learn to collaborate to make a meaningful impact because no one can be an island.”

Touching on ethics and public interest in investigative journalism, he said media practitioners need to recognise that issues that had an element of interest to the public superseded ethics.
“People who feel their right have been trampled upon can seek legal redress,” he said.

Asked about the risk associated with investigative journalism, he likened the hazards to a hot kitchen where the individual should decide whether to face the heat or quit.

Mr Anas cautioned journalists to be prepared for the heat and urged media owners to take steps to mitigate the risks.

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