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28.10.2008 Social News

NCCE says social commentators are creating tension

By gna

Mr. Edward Nti Berko, Western Regional Director of National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE), on Tuesday said stories published in some newspapers and comments on some radio stations could cause conflict.

He appealed to the media to be guided by the principles of objectivity, accuracy and fairness in their reportage to ensure peace especially during this political season.

Mr. Berko said this during the commission's encounter with the media on 'ensuring peace through free, fair and transparent election 2008' in Takoradi.

It was organised jointly by the NCCE and the Western Regional branch of the Ghana Journalists Association.

He said news items carried by some radio stations are usually full of idioms and proverbs and “people are not able to differentiate what is fact or opinion”.

“Our media must differentiate between facts and opinion to make it easy for others understand clearly what the news is all about.''

Mr. Berko said the liberalization of the airwaves and the introduction of radio phone-ins had brought about increased public participation in governance but this is being abused by many who have become known as “serial callers”.

He said the sour nature of some of the contributions, the use of intimidation and abuse of personalities and name calling are not in the interest of peace and programme hosts as well as presenters must be bold to cut off such callers.

“We cannot allow serial callers, social commentators and other who have access to the media to abuse it to their advantage” he said.

Bishop Andrew F. Okoh retired Bishop of the Sekondi Diocese of the Anglican Church Sekondi, commended the media in the Western Region for the good work they have been doing.

However, he said, some media personnel in seeking to be the first to break the news are not able to “seek the entire truth.”

Bishop Okoh urged the media to ensure that provocative language is not used during programmes and that the media should be seen to be promoting peace.

Mr. George A. Naykene, the Western Regional chairman of the GJA, said the encounter had become necessary as the nation prepares for election and it was aimed at sharpening the skills of the media to promote peace through their news items.