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24.07.2004 General News

Media Urged To Conduct Scientific Opinion Polls

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Kumasi, July 24, GNA - Media practitioners have been urged to ensure that opinion polls on the 2004 General Election are scientifically conducted in order to give accurate information to the electorate.

Mr David Adenze Kangah, Deputy Chairman of the Electoral Commission (EC) in-charge of Operations, who gave the advice, said unempirical opinion polls could negatively affect the decisions of voters.

The Deputy Chairman was speaking on the topic: "Expectations Of The Electoral Commission On Media Reportage In 2004 Vis-=E0-vis Reportage In 2000" at a two-day seminar on Political Reporting for media practitioners in Kumasi on Thursday.

It is being organised by the National Media Commission (NMC) in collaboration with the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) and sponsored by the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES).

The 30 media practitioners attending the seminar are from the Ashanti and Brong-Ahafo Regions.

Mr Kangah said though opinion polls were necessary for elections, an unscientific study could misinform and mislead the electorate. He entreated journalists to study electoral laws carefully so that they could get the relevant information about the electoral process to enhance their work.

Mr Kangah commended journalists for reporting on the work of the EC but expressed disappointment that some of them at times "blow negligible and minute electoral problems out of proportion".

He said the EC should not be expected to perform perfectly since it was young and still picking up adding, "There are bound to be some hitches and few problems".

Mr Kangah announced that the Commission was planning to set up an election administration school in the country to offer courses in professional election administration and that syllabuses for the programme was be prepared.