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15.11.2005 General News

Journalism and Politics are not the same

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Takoradi, Nov 15, GNA - Mr Yaw Boadu-Ayeboafoh, the Editor of the Daily Graphic, has advised journalists not to confuse journalism with politics.

He gave the advice at a one-day workshop for media practitioners in the Western Region on the National Reconciliation Commission (NRC) report on the media in Takoradi.

The workshop was organised by the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA), sponsored by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) through the National Governance Programme. It was under the theme "Challenges of the Media in the Promotion of Human Rights/Democratic Governance - Reflections on the Report of the NRC".

Mr Boadu-Ayeboafoh said journalism and politics are different disciplines and journalists should not stray into politics in the course of their work.

He said media practitioners have rights and responsibilities but the rights cannot be exercised at the expense of the responsibilities.

Mr Boadu-Ayeboafoh said media practitioners have the right to say what they want but they must also accept responsibility for what they say. ''They should also recognise their responsibility to provide the public with true and accurate reports,'' he said.

In this regard, Mr Boadu-Ayeboafoh said, media practitioners should avoid "Cheque book journalism" whereby people give them money to write bad things about other people.

Dr Bonnah Koomson, the Chairman of GJA Ethics and Disciplinary Council, appealed to media practitioners to study the constitution to prevent infringement of human rights.

He said many media practitioners are not acquainted with the provisions of the constitution and this leads them to say and write things that contravene the provisions.

Mr Bright Blewu, General Secretary of GJA, urged media practitioners to also study the GJA constitution to ensure press freedom and to enable them defend human rights of the citizenry.