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11.11.2005 General News

Labeling and shaming policy advocated for journalists

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Koforidua, Nov 11, GNA - Dr K. Bonnah Koomson, the acting Director of the School of Communications Studies at the University of Ghana, has suggested the adoption of a "labeling and shaming policy" by the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) as way of dealing with erring journalists.

He said in view of the public disenchantment about the increasing spate of viciousness, vilification and intolerance being exhibited by sections of the media, there was the need to adopt a policy that would rehabilitate such "vile and recalcitrant practitioners." Dr Koomson who is also the Chairman of the newly-created GJA Ethics and Disciplinary Council, was speaking at a workshop organized by the association for its members at Koforidua to dilate on the National Reconciliation Commission' (NRC) Report that faulted journalists for some grave infractions.

He spoke on the "Ethical dimension of the NRC Report", and called for certain indicators to be developed to monitor the effectiveness of the monitoring policy, especially if minority interests were to be taken care of and protected.

Dr Koomson said in the case of national reconciliation, for instance, the media were "seriously taking sides" thus undermining the effectiveness of the national reconciliation effort. The Eastern Regional Chairman of the Ghana Bar Association, Mr Samuel Asante Ansong, appealed to journalists to nip in the bud pretences that "they carry all the wisdom in the world and that without them there can be no progress."

Journalists, he advised, must take cognizance of the fact that reputations were hard to build and that as media practitioners they must refrain from depravities that tarnished the reputation of others. Odeefour Boadi Asiedu, the Presiding Member of the New Juaben District Assembly, urged journalists to exercise their functions bearing in mind the larger public interest rather focusing on sectional interests.