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23.12.2003 General News

Journalist called upon to exhibit professionalism

By GNA
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Accra, Dec. 23, GNA - Mr Andrews Awuni, a Deputy Minister of Information, on Tuesday called on Journalists to exhibit a high sense of professionalism in their reportage to safeguard the image of the profession.

Mr Awuni said this when he launched a book entitled: "The State Of The Media In Ghana. Ten Years of Constitutional Rule-Challenges of the Ghanaian Media" in Accra.

The book is the outcome of a workshop held in Swedru by the Ghana Journalists Association.

The workshop was aimed at providing Media Practitioners with a platform to formally assess their performance and identify relevant challenges after a decade of liberated media environment. Mr Awuni said Journalists had thrown away the self-regulatory system that the Constitution had guaranteed and were trampling on the system and asked: "What then do you have regard for? Is it the law courts?

He said the Government believed in constitutionalism and urged Journalists to go by the dictates of the Constitution and the rule of law.

He noted that the profession had come a long way to gain public confidence as it continued to hold public officials accountable and thereby making people to be more careful in their dealings. Mr Awuni said some armchair Journalists crafted stories without approaching any source, adding, "sources of information are very important but now they seemed not to be important to some media practitioners".

He said people were prepared to sacrifice the profession for their own selfish gains and called on Journalists to sit up and look back at their cherished profession.

Ms Ajoa Yeboah Afari, President of the Ghana Journalists Association, said the presentation in the report reflected many of the concerns currently being expressed by both professionals and members of the public.

She said, Journalists were supposed to lead the country's development agenda through information and entertainment. "What is educative or entertaining about what currently passes for debate on some of our radio stations and in some of the our newspaper columns? As Opinion Leaders, what are we teaching our young?

Mr George Mac Badji, Executive Secretary of the National Media Commission (NMC), said Media Practitioners needed to exercise good judgement and integrity and must pursue justice and fair play instead of money.

He said Journalist should not publish just anything but the truth, adding; "we need Media Practitioners imbued with a sense of humanness and care for humanity".

Mrs Gifty Affenyi Dadzie, Immediate Past President of GJA and the Association's Representative on the NMC, urged media practitioners to do well to consolidate the gains made so far.

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