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27.06.2003 General News

"Cross check your facts" - NRC urge Journalists

By gna
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The fifth report on media coverage of the National Reconciliation Commission (NRC) proceedings on Thursday recommended that journalists covering the sittings should endeavour to crosscheck their facts before making them public.

The report, which covered the month of May (1-31) said the study noted that most reports published both in the print and electronic media did not reflect the "Spirit of Akosombo", Agbeko Azumah of the Media Watch Limited, the organization that compiled the media coverage of the NRC said.

The "Spirit of Akosombo" is a document prepared by the Ghana Journalists Association to guide members covering the proceedings of the NRC.

The media-monitoring project is commissioned by National Media Commission and funded by the United Nations Development Programme, through the National Governance Programme with support from the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung.

In all 14 newspapers, four television stations and 20 radio stations were analysed during the period under review and the Daily Guide took the lead with 20.1 per cent of the total coverage followed by the Evening News with 19.6 per cent with Daily Graphic placing third with 17.6 per cent.

The Ghana Television was said to have continued to lead in terms of amount of airtime devoted to the proceedings with 95.3 per cent followed by the Metro TV and TV3.

Peace FM took the lead with 12.1 per cent for the radio followed by Unique FM and Radio 2 of the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation. The Ghana News Agency published a total of 21 stories during the month under review and all the stories were generally neutral.

The report indicated that most media discussions from radio stations failed to rectify the mistakes made by the print media, which were retracted and this gave a wrong impression about some of the witnesses and some names that were mentioned.

It entreated the media to be conversant with the guidelines associated with the profession and work within the context of the Spirit of Akosombo".

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