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18.11.2005 General News

Journalists asked to accept complicity in human rights abuses in Ghana

By GNA
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Ho, Nov. 18, GNA - Ms Ajoa Yeboa- Afari, President of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) has asked the media to accept excerpts of the National Reconciliation Commission's (NRC) report that damned journalists for complicity in many human rights abuses of past governments in the country.

She said the report should rather serve as an impetus to launch the Ghanaian media into a new era as a defender and promoter of human rights in the country.

Ms Yeboa-Afari was speaking at a GJA workshop on "Challenges of the Media in the Promotion of Human Rights and Democratic Governance - Reflections of the Report of the National Reconciliation Commission" at Ho on Friday.

Journalists, personnel from security agencies and the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) in the Volta Region were participants at the one-day workshop.

Ms Yeboa-Afari listed some of the charges levelled against Journalists in the NRC report as the propensity to support the will of Governments, prop-up of brutal regimes and demonising old governments among others.

Mr Justice Kwesi Yanney, a Ho High Court Judge in a keynote address expressed concern about the inability of the media to expose issues such as the deplorable conditions in the country's prisons but rather concentrate on obscenities.

He said the media must be seen to be promoting development and not political polarity.

Mr Justice Yanney said the media must vouch for the exposure of corruption in all spheres of life as its contribution to good governance.

He said while lashing at government for lapses, the media should also take on the opposition for sloppy criticisms of national policies just because they were initiated from the other side of the political divide.

Togbega Gabusu VI, President of the Volta Regional House of Chiefs and Paramount Chief of the Gbi Tradtional Area, who presided, said journalists should consider themselves as linguists of the nation and must reflect respectability and trustworthiness in all they did. The workshop, a third in the series after Koforidua and Cape Coast is being sponsored by the UNDP through the National Governance Programme Facilitator, KAB Governance Consult.

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