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09.11.2004 General News

GJA launches media political parties dialogue

By GNA

Accra, Nov. 9, GNA - The Ghana Journalists' Association (GJA) on Tuesday launched a programme that would create the platform for media and political parties to dialogue on issues to help the electorate make informed decisions.

The programme dubbed: "The Case For The Manifestoes" will bring together spokespersons of political parties to speak on specific issues with Journalists from collaborative media houses to ask questions. The collaborative media houses are the Graphic Communications Group Limited, New Times Corporation, Daily Guide, Daily Dispatch, Ghana Broadcasting Corporation, Peace FM and Joy FM.

The programme being sponsored by the United States Embassy and facilitated by KAB Government Consult would be held every Tuesday at the International Press Centre from November 9 to 30.

Ms Ajoa Yeboah-Afari, GJA President said the programme formed part of the Association's contribution to ensuring free and fair elections as well as empowering Journalists to report on issues rather than peddle allegations against personalities.

She said the programme would aid Politicians and Journalists to take a critical look at policies and programmes of the parties to avoid the situation where most of them deviate and rather focus on personalities.

Ms. Yeboah-Afari expressed the hope that the programme would become a permanent feature of the GJA.

Mr Kwasi Afriyie Badu of KAB Consult said the programme would focus on four political parties, which were the New Patriotic Party (NPP), National Democratic Congress (NDC), Peoples National Convention (PNC) and Convention People's Party (CPP).

He said issues to be discussed would include education, health, the economy and anti-corruption, which had denied Ghanaians a faster rate of alleviating poverty.

Mr David Queen, Director of the Public Affairs section of the US Embassy said the programme would help the political parties to accurately discuss their manifestoes as well as how to achieve their goals.

He said Journalists came between the source and the consumer and urged them to use the opportunity to give the electorate an accurate description of what each party had for them.

Dr Kwadwo Afari-Gyan, Chairman of the Electoral Commission, who chaired the function appealed to the media to report what each political party said as accurately as possible and to allow the electorate to make their own judgment.

"Do not take sides or say that Party A's message is more meaningful than Party B to create bias and which will not give the true reflection of the issues", he said.

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