Mr. Kenwood Nuworsu, a former Volta Regional Chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), has called on the media to responsibly wield its powers of communication and education to sustain a free society.
He said the media counted among base structures of democracy and were prime targets for the architects of political regimes and should therefore seek the growth of quality democracies as it best guaranteed their freedom.
Mr. Nuworsu, also a former Deputy Minister for Youth and Employment, was addressing the Media in the Volta Region at an exclusive soiree organised by the leadership of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in the Region.
“The press is the only institution that had the power to change white to black – nobody else. That dangerous sword in your hands must be used responsibly. The Two-edged sword that you have in your hands must be used responsibly.
“Of course, honourable Ahiagbah said it, that we (NPP) have fought to get to where we are today – our press freedom. When Chairman said you would be the first casualty, most of you did not understand. In the event of any upheaval, as Chairman said, the first institution to be muzzled would be the press. Your job would be lost first. If there was no democracy, there would be no press. Then, you and I would have to find something to do.
“So those of you who have trained as professional journalists, please do not allow – excuse my language, the charlatans among you to give a bad image to this old noble profession,” he said.
The former regional chair said Volta remained one of Ghana’s most political regions and was therefore important for the media there to ensure quality reportage devoid of falsehood and negative propaganda.
Mr. Makafui Woanya, the Regional Chairman, who organised the gathering, promised commitment to deepening media-Party relations towards the development of the nation’s democracy.
He was the first at the event to call to realign with the tenets of quality journalism, and said the media as crucial stakeholders, should “not toy” with the democratic system.
“One critical issue I would like to raise is also the issue of security and stability of our democracy, Lately, people including some sections of the media have made statements and pronouncements that sought to undermine the peace and stability of our dear nation.
“Those who do not know the history of this country will toy with such dangerous ideas. There is no known better alternative to the system we have today. I want to remind the press that in the event of any upheaval the press would be the first casualty, so let us hold our peace and tranquility dear. The press has a key role to play in the preservation of our collective security and stability,” Mr. Woanya said.
Gracing the dinner was Mr. Richard Ahiagbah, National Communications Director for the NPP, who also called on the media to help prevent negative speculation and fear mongering as the nation managed its share of the global economic crisis.
He said political parties in opposition usually found refuge in such crisis, and schemed to make governments unpopular with false propaganda, and that the media needed to stick to unbiased communication as an antidote.
Present at the event were journalists from the various media houses operating in the Region, and regional and constituency executives of the NPP.
There were also some local government heads including Divine Bosson, MCE for Ho, and Edmund Kudjoh Attah, DCE for North Dayi.