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01.12.2005 General News

Journalists asked to uphold human rights

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Bolgatanga, Dec. 1, GNA - Ms. Ajoa Yeboah-Afari, President of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) on Wednesday called on media practitioners to let their activities reflect on respect for human rights.

She said the dignity and rights of people should be upheld under all circumstances and given a fair reportage.

Ms Yeboah-Afari was speaking at a one-day workshop on "Challenges of the Media in the Promotion of Human Rights and Democratic Governance - Reflections on the Report of the National Reconciliation Commission (NRC)" organised for journalists in Bolgatanga.

The workshop was to afford Journalists an opportunity to study the report of the NRC with regards to its comments on the role the media played from March 6 1957 to January 6 1993, to enable media practitioners draw lessons for the process of National Reconciliation. She said the report criticized the Media of supporting regimes that were inhuman and various atrocities meted out to people, discriminated against the less fortunate, adding that all media practitioners had accepted it in good faith and were making efforts to adhere to the ethics of the profession.

Mr. Joseph Whittal, Upper East Regional Director of the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), challenged the media to stand up against human rights abuses and maintain objective reportage.

He said it was unfortunate that with all the freedom the press was enjoying presently, newspapers should be attacking people's reputations daily.

"It is time the media recognized and accepted their role in promoting a culture of respect for human rights and dignity," He added. Mr. Yaw Boadu-Ayeboafo, Editor of the Daily Graphic, asked journalist to avoid being influenced and write only what was genuine and deserved to be published.

"The moment we allow ourselves to be misused, we spoil the name of journalism. Our aim should at all times be to carry out our responsibility and be true and faithful to the profession," He said.

Mr. Mohammed Issahaq, Upper East Regional Chairman of the association, expressed concern at the influx of correspondents from private publications in Accra and the unprofessional conduct some of them exhibit during assignments, thus tarnishing the image of journalists.

He suggested that the GJA Secretariat should work out a policy that would enjoin private media houses to provide their correspondents with accreditation to identify themselves with the regional branches of the association to avoid confusion.

Mr. Robert Ajene, a retired educationist, noted that there could be no good governance without the involvement of journalists. However, he urged media practitioners to be circumspect in the use of their power.

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