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26.10.2005 General News

Lets have awards for tolerance - Attafuah

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Accra Oct. 26, GNA - Professor Kenneth Attafuah, Lecturer at the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA), on Wednesday called for the institution of awards for Ghanaians, who have exhibited the highest level of tolerance when faced with public criticism.

He told journalists at a workshop that the tolerance level of the Ghanaian was suspect and that he did not know if that originated from their culture or the fear of losing power.

The three-day workshop on the theme: "Media, Information Access, Governance and Development: the Ghana Context" was jointly organized by the Ghana Journalists Association and the World Bank Institute for senior journalists and a cross section of civil society Prof. Attafuah, who was contributing to a discussion on: "The Role of Communication in Promoting Community Empowerment and Social Accountability" challenged journalists to rise up to their profession and should not be cowards.

He wondered as to how journalists or present politicians were going to transfer responsible citizenship to posterity by demonstrating cowardice and intolerance

Commenting on complaints of some journalists that they had to comply with the dictates of their employers' Prof Attafuah said that excuse was a faint one and journalists had to live to the call of their profession. He asked: "Which journalist has been dismissed from his employment and has ended up jobless and died from hunger?" Ato Kondua, a Communication Consultant, buttressed this point, when he contributed to the topic: "Towards Free Information Environment in Ghana, Prospect and Challenges."

He said the media must develop the capacity to manage information in such a way that the journalists did not compromise their profession. Mr Alban Bagbin, the Minority Leader, speaking on: "Information Capacities at the State, Parliamentary and Local Level" called for a fearless media so that those who work with the media as partners could be defenders of people's liberties and freedom. He said: "Let us move away from dogma; attachment to personalities and political parties to such an extent that journalist do not become enemies to the media."

Mr Bagbin deplored the frequent changes of the Parliamentary Press Corps, explaining that parliamentary coverage was a special field and the use of terminologies and the work in the House needed some amount of permanency.

He said the Leadership of Parliament was trying to enter into some sort of understanding so that Parliament could provide budgetary allocation for the press corps so that it could move along with the Legislature.

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