Ghanaian media urged to report on issues affecting the people
4/26/2012 2:00:53 AM -
Tamale, April 25, GNA - The media have been urged to report more on issues that affect the living conditions of the people especially their socio-economic conditions'
'This would put government on its toes instead of the traditional reporting of raw news and facts from prepared speeches.'
Mr Bill Ristow, a Veteran American Journalist has observed that the Ghanaian media was loaded with news stories that originated from prepared speeches and press releases.
He said such stories do not actually reflect the feelings and opinions of the general public and therefore such stories were one-sided, adding that, the Ghanaian journalists could go beyond the press releases and speeches and delve deeper into stories.
Mr Ristow, who is also a Lecturer at the School of Communication Studies, Legon, was speaking at a two-day workshop in Tamale on election coverage, aimed at equipping the Journalists, drawn from the Northern, Upper East and West Regions, with the best tool in reporting on elections.
It was organized jointly by the US Embassy in Accra and the Rural Media Network (RUMNET), an NGO operating in the Northern parts of the country using the media as a tool for a change in the rural parts of the country.
Mr Ristow said the professional journalists only concentrate on what matters to society and not his or her self seeking interest and must be critical and analytical to be able to serve a good watchdog role.
'The primary purpose of journalism is to provide citizens with the information they need to be free and self-governing', he said.
He said journalists must maintain neutrality and impartiality in the performance of their duties and ask critical questions that would illicit the right information from the politicians.
Mr Abdala Kasim, the Executive Director of RUMNET observed that the coming general election was already breeding tensions in the media landscape, a situation he said, must be controlled in order not to bring any untoward disturbances to the nation.
He suggested that the media could best reduce the tensions currently prevailing by concentrating on economic and social issues that affect the ordinary man on the street.
Mr Kasim said the media, as the purveyor of messages, must desist from politics of personalities, but rather on issues upon which citizens could make informed decisions on the Election Day.
Mr Nurudeen Mohammed, a reporter with the Daily Graphic expressed satisfaction with the workshop, especially the new knowledge and ideas gained, stressing that, 'It will be good for the Ghanaian media to put into practise some of the ideas suggested'.