Journalists were on Tuesday tasked to take charge of their personal safety as they cover events before, during, and after the December 7th Presidential and Parliamentary elections.
“While the police always strive towards offering the best protection they could for everyone including journalists, it is basically the responsibility of journalists to ensure that they stay safe and alive while covering the election,” Superintendent Mrs Sheilla Abayie-Buckman, Director of Public Affairs, Ghana Police Service stated in Accra.
She said this at a day’s workshop for photojournalist, on how to ensure their safety as they cover the General Election.
She said it was important for journalists to bear in mind while covering their stories, that their safety came first saying, “safety first, your story second”.
Supt. Abayie-Buckman urged journalists to build and maintain good relations with the police in order to create a positive atmosphere between the media and the police.
She observed that at the end of the day, both the police and journalists are working in the interest of the state and it was crucial that the two bodies collaborated for the good and progress of the country.
Supt. Abayie-Buckman said it was crucial that journalists obeyed police regulations and instructions in the course of covering the election, because these directives ensure the safety of everyone, including; journalists.
“Please follow police orders. Do not say because you are a journalist, you’ll go contrary to the rules. Follow police orders and do not argue with the police, especially when tensions are high,” she noted.
Mr. Roland Affail-Monney, President of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA), said whilst photojournalists played a pivotal role in news dissemination, they suffered some of the worst attacks in the course of performing their duties.
He said the time had come for the indispensable contribution of photojournalism to media work to be properly recognized.
Mr. Affail Monney said the workshop marked the beginning of a period when the welfare of photojournalists would be well catered for.
He urged journalists to report objectively and strive towards ensuring national unity and growth saying, “report objectively. It is based on what you report that people will decide and act.”
The workshop was organised by the GJA.