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09.05.2008 General News

Media Urged To Support The Under-Privileged

By Samuel Nuamah - newtimesonline.com

Ghanaian journalists have been urged to accord equal attention to ordinary citizens and the less privileged in society just as they give to those in authority.

Jessie Johnston, a Canadian journalist and human rights activist, said the work of the Ghanaian media is tilted favourably towards government functionaries and the privileged in society to the detriment of the less privileged and the poor.

“As journalists, it is important that we give equal voice to the voiceless and the poor in society,” she told the Times on the sidelines of a workshop on human rights organised for parliamentary press corps in Accra.

The third in a series and under the auspices of the Journalists for Human Rights (JHR), the workshop seeks to sensitise members of the corps on human rights issues with a view to enhancing their interest and reportage on human rights.

Ms Johnston, who has been on a working visit to the country for about 10 years said, the practice does not create an enabling environment for the poor and the voiceless to air their views and also contribute meaningfully to the country’s development.

In as much as it is important to report on government functionaries as well as their activities and programmes, it is also necessary to give voice to the ordinary man on the street, she stressed and underscored the need for that trend to be reversed.

The last and fourth workshop in the series is slated for Monday, May 12.

Founded in 2002, Journalists for Human Rights, a Canadian non-governmental organisation, works with the media in Africa and North America to expand and improve human rights coverage. Within Africa, JHR has worked in 15 countries and is now assisting local media organisations to reach millions of people weekly with human rights information.

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