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07.11.2008 General News

GJA Expresses Confidence in Revised Guidelines

By ISD ( Gilbert Ankrah)

The President of the Ghana Journalist Association (GJA), Mr Ransford Tetteh, has expressed confidence in the 'Revised GJA Guidelines on Election Coverage' for journalists and media houses in the country.

According to him, the Guideline which is expected to ensure transparency and credibility in the coverage of election has been developed as part of the association's effort to improve the quality of media coverage of elections in the country.

Mr Tetteh made this known yesterday in Accra in a speech read on his behalf at the opening of a one-day National Consultative Meeting on the Draft Revised GJA Guidelines on Election Coverage.

He pointed out that the Association considers the revision of the Guidelines in line with its commitment among other things to promote high professional standards integrity, media accountability and above all in consonance with the duty of the mass media to promote good governance and social cohesion through the effective coverage of elections.

He observed that elections are prime and vital instruments for the establishment of democracy adding that they constitute the source of legitimacy to political leadership in democratic dispensation and provide the citizenry with the fundamental form of political participation.

The President was grateful to the French Embassy, Electoral Commission and the Friedrich Ebert Foundation for their sponsorship of the Guidelines.

In a remark, the former GJA President and member of 'the GJA Group of Eminent Persons,'' Ms Ajoa Afari-Yeboah, intimated that the GJA updated the Guideline in order to avoid media practitioners being found wanting and especially in view of the change in media landscape since the last one was published in 1996.

She stated that 'in view of recent elections and its aftermath in other African countries, the role of the media in Ghana has become more crucial in this year's general election and urged them to take charge of the political agenda.

Representatives from the French Embassy, Narie-Helene Hoba, lauded the significance of the update, adding that it demonstrates the Association's determination to get the Ghanaian media perform creditably in the coverage of general elections.'

He commended the GJA for its initiative and was hopeful that the revised Guideline will help sharpen the professional abilities of the Ghanaian media in the coverage of elections.

The Guidelines were put together by a seven-member committee named 'the GJA Group of Eminent Persons,'' and it 'highlights the legal, professional and ethical issues intended to make the media or journalist balance , fair, accurate , reliable and timely in their reportage of political activities and treatment issues and personalities.'