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23.10.2003 Health

Vibrant and healthy press is necessary for Ghanaians- C.J.

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Tema, Oct. 23, GNA- Mr Justice Kingsley George Acquah, THE Chief Justice, on Wednesday expressed grave concern about what is going on the airwaves where certain individuals are under the erroneous impression that they have licence to insult anybody under the guise of press freedom.

He stressed, " currently, in our society we are all aware on our airwaves, whereby certain individuals either as commentators or through phone-ins are under the erroneous impression that they have license to insult anybody under the guise of press freedom".

Mr Justice Acquah was speaking at the 18th Synod of the Accra Anglican Diocese, which is being held at the St Stephen's Anglican church, Tema, with the theme "Mission 2020".

He said some of the callers present their personal view as the truth and anyone who holds contrary view is insulted and described as a liar. Mr Justice Acquah asked whether this attitude, is in conformity with the press freedom we all cherish?.

He pointed out that "the constitution guarantees the dignity and reputation of every individual, yet what goes on our airwaves is a direct negation of this right", adding political intolerance on our airwaves involves the idea or perception that the church has lost its moral grounds.

The Chief Justice said "political leaders, even the President and the Ex-president, chiefs and good people of Ghana are insulted and abused with uncharitable language" and said the church must frown on and speak against these practices.

However, notwithstanding the misuse of the press, a vibrant and healthy press is certainly necessary in our society in order to inform and educate the people.

Mr Justice Acquah advised churches to ensure that people in conflict will find it easy to resolve their differences and feel free to use the church as a resolution platform.

All of us are enjoined to spread the message of peace. Peace means that the church must stand against selfishness, greed, uncharitable works, covetousness and robbery.

Among those present was Rt. Rev. Justice Ofei Yaw Akrofi, the new Archbishop of the province of West Africa.

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