Tamale, July 28, GNA - Mr Affail Monney, Deputy General Secretary of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA), has asked Journalists not to allow their political affiliations to influence the coverage of political events.
"It will be a great disservice to the people if Journalists deliberately failed to give accurate reports", he said at a seminar on Political Reporting in Tamale on Monday.
The two-day seminar, which was the second in a series on Election 2004 attracted Journalists from the Northern, Upper East and Upper West Regions.
It was organised by the National Media Commission (NMC), GJA and the Electoral Commission (EC), with sponsorship from the Friedrich Ebert Foundation (FEF). The participants were taken through topics like: "Guidelines for Political Reporting", "Print Media Guidelines", "Broadcasting Standards", "GJA Guidelines on Election Coverage" and the "Political Parties Code of Conduct 2004".
Mr Monney urged Journalists to act as instruments of peace, stressing: "You have a huge responsibility to build bridges of peace and not beat the drums of war".
He cautioned the FM stations, not to use their airtime to inflame passions and hatred and but give equal opportunity to all the political parties.
Mr Sarfo Kantanka, Deputy Chairman of the EC in charge of Operations, noted that the media had neglected civic education, which helped the electorate to make informed choices.
He urged Journalists to educate the electorate on the rules of the electoral process to ensure the success of the elections. Mr Jorge Bergesterman, Resident Director of the FES, said the peace and political development of the country rested in the hands of the media and, therefore, urged Journalists to strive to make this year's elections a success story.
Mr Yaw Boadu-Ayeboafoh, Editor of the Daily Graphic, cautioned the media especially those in the Northern Region, to be circumspect in the way they handled issues.
He asked them to take into consideration the socio-cultural and political milieu in which they operated.