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20.11.2003 General News

Don't Abuse Repeal of Criminal Libel Law- Speaker

By Daily Graphic
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The speaker of Parliament, Mr. Peer Ala Adjetey, has said that the repeal of the Criminal Libel Law should not be used as a justification for journalists to damage the image of people through unfounded allegations.

He noted with concern that after the repeal of the law, a section of the media had consistently been slandering and maligning people with careless abandon, thus giving room for people to question the repeal of the law.

The speaker gave the advice when the new executive of the Ghana Journalists Association (GHA), paid a courtesy call on the leadership of the House in Accra on Tuesday.

He said when people’s hard won reputations are damaged it would be difficult to redeem them and added that there were some people in the society who could not go to the media to state their side of the story when they are scandalized.

Mr. Ala Adjetey said the independence of the media which is guaranteed by the Constitution, was very vital for the sustenance of democracy and must be exercised with great caution and responsibility.

The President of the GJA Ms Adjoa Yeboah-Afari, said parliamentary processes were crucial for the country’s democracy.

She advocated the training of reporters to enable them report accurately and educate the people on the proceedings of Parliament.

She also appealed to the leadership of the House to endeavour to travel with parliamentary reporters whenever they travel outside the country to enable them to report extensively on such trips for the benefit of the House and the country as a whole.

The Minority Chief Whip, Mr. Doe Adjaho, expressed concern about the way some media practitioners treat the National Media Commission (NMC) with contempt.

He said it was very disturbing when media practitioners who are summoned to appear before the commission failed to do so, adding that such a situation tended to undermine the confidence of the commission. He said if care was not taken, people would rather resort to court actions for redress.

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