The Ghana Journalists Association has urged all journalists to respect the Code of Ethics of the profession and always ensure fair and balanced reportage.
A release issued by the Association in Accra last week, and signed by the General Secretary, Bright Blewu, said: 'The challenges of working in the Ghanaian media in this year will be stretched further, since the country, besides celebrating its Golden Jubilee will also be ushered into an electioneering year.
'It is in this light that improved professionalism would be crucial and an important contribution to the development of the country this year', it added.
The release stressed that media organisations must make it a policy to carry out fair and balanced coverage by making adequate inquiries and thoroughly cross-checking all facts before publishing.
'We consider these values to be in line with Article 41 (a) of the Constitution, which enjoins all Ghanaians, while enjoying their freedoms and in the performance of their duties and obligations to promote the prestige and good name of Ghana', it noted.
While acknowledging the shortcomings of the media, the release urged practitioners to strive to live above reproach, since they serve as the mirror of the society.
It encouraged media practitioners to vigorously pursue their agenda-setting role and to allow members of the public to express themselves freely through the media with a sense of decorum and circumspection.
The release hoped 'all members of the GJA, partners and the public will continue to show goodwill towards the promotion of high journalistic standards and press freedom and be supportive of the cause of freedom and independence of the media in the spirit of tolerance that restrains people from carrying out unlawful attacks on the media'.
It expressed the Association's profound gratitude to all sponsors of the 11th GJA Awards last May, and its major partners, particularly the United Nations Development Programme, as well as, the BUSAC Fund.