Lecturer cautions media against irresponsible journalism

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media
Journalists

Alhaji Zakaria Tanko Musa, a Lecturer at the Ghana Institute of Journalism (GIJ), has urged the media to strictly abide by the Code of Conduct and ethical values of the journalism profession.

He expressed disgust over the growing incidence of defamation in the Ghanaian media space, saying if not checked, the media could lose its freedom as spelt out in the 1992 Constitution.

“I have appeared severally before the National Media Commission (NMC) to defend journalists on issues of ethics so we must try as much as possible to remain circumspect in our reportage,” he stated.

Alhaji Musa gave the advice at the opening of a two-day capacity building workshop for selected media practitioners and personnel of the Information Service Department (ISD) at Fiapre in the Sunyani West Municipality of the Bono Region.

The Ghana and German commissions for UNESCO and Dubawa Ghana, a fact checking organisation, organised the workshop for the about 100 participants.

It aimed at building their capacity to counter disinformation and position them well to produce and report factual and accurate news stories.

Alhaji Musa said though Chapter 12 of the 1992 Constitution guaranteed the freedom of the press, journalists and media practitioners had no absolute freedom and, therefore, urged them to remain responsible while discharging their duties.

He said it was necessary for the media to remain circumspect and decorous in their duties in order not to abuse and lose the freedom bestowed on them by the Constitution, saying: “We are gradually losing public trust and freedom to operate.”

Madam Caroline Anipa, the Country Lead, Dubawa Ghana, who took the participants through fact-checking, said until the media checked and double-checked their facts, they would not be able to churn out good and compelling stories.
She said fact-checking remained a key and essential element in basic journalism, and advised the media not to rush to the press but take time to cross-check their facts from the relevant sources.

Mr Larry Paa Kwesi Moses, the Chairman of the Bono, Bono East and Ahafo Regional Branch of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA), commended the organisers of the workshop, which he described as timely and relevant.
He expressed optimism that the relationship between the GJA, UNESCO, and Dubawa would be strengthened for mutual benefits.

He asked participants to take advantage of the programme and broaden their scope of operations.

Earlier, Ms Joan Agyekum Nsowah, the Program Officer for Communication and Information, Ghana Commission for UNESCO, said similar training had been held for the Bono East Region, and expressed the hope that it would empower the media to do compelling stories to shape society.

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