The National Media Commission (NMC), yesterday in Accra launched guidelines for political reporting towards the upcoming polls.
The document which is developed by the NMC in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is aimed at equipping journalist with the principles that encompass the broader spectrum of political reporting. It is also to promote the adoption of 'Peace angle' journalism in political reporting which could avoid conflict.
The Chairman of the NMC Mr Paul Adu Gyamfi, stated that journalist have a role to play in ensuring that the upcoming polls is peaceful devoid of mayhem. He said political journalism has is critical in any democracy and there is the need for the media practitioners to provide them with the requisite information that will enable the people make intelligent choice during the polls.
Mr Adu Gyamfi noted that the launching of the guidelines is timely, saying journalist should identify critical issues that might not trigger violence but rather promote peace and national cohesion. He cautioned journalists not to allow themselves to be influenced by politicians.
A representative of the Governance Unit of UNDP Mr Francis Azumah, observed that for Ghana to achieve the Millennium Development Goals(MDGs), there should be a vibrant, effective and professional media which will inform its citizens to fully participate in the democratic process. Adding that political broadcasting should be encouraged not only during election seasons.
According to Mr Azumah the NMC needed to initiate projects such as this to enhance journalistic practice in the country.
Launching the Guidelines, the President of the Ghana Journalist Association (GJA) Mr Ranford Tetteh said the work of journalist should reflect the real situation rather than inflaming passion. He noted that media practitioners must avoid activities that could compromise their integrity and credibility in order to effectively discharge their duties.