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29.12.2005 General News

Journalists urged to be sure of their sources

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Accra, Dec 29, GNA - Ms Theresa Ameley Tagoe, Deputy Minister of Lands, Forestry and Mines, on Thursday observed that though journalism was indispensable to the development of any nation, damage caused by misinformation could be irreparable.

She said it was thus very important for journalists to always ensure that their sources of information were credible. Ms Tagoe said this when the Ministry held a reception for a cross-section of journalists, who cover the sector.

She said it was worth noting that once the public had formed an impression through the media it became very difficult to change it, even if it was based on falsehood, adding that soiled reputations did not only affect the individuals involved but their families as well. The Deputy Minister, however, observed that journalism had contributed greatly towards the growth of democracy and the general progress of the nation.

Touching on lands, she said the Ministry was working hard towards dealing with problems within the sector such as the double registration of lands and the use of land guards.

Ms Tagoe described as most unfortunate the recent killing of a top Internal Revenue Service official by a land guard and said the Ministry was working at ensuring the proper documentation and sale of lands in order to eradicate the activities of land guards.

She said the Ministry was also working towards finding alternate job options for illegal miners popularly known as "Galamsey" operators, as a means of halting their activities and ensuring land preservation. Mr Frank Aidoo, Personal Assistant to the Minister, urged journalists to help in resolving problems of land administration in the country.

He said they should publicize educative material on land acquisition in the country for the reading of the general public, since that could go a long way in bringing sanity into land administration in the country.

Mrs Dzifa Azuma of the Ghana News Agency on behalf of her colleagues said journalists were committed to their role of informing and educating the public to foster development. She said journalists had a symbiotic relationship with most State institutions, adding that without one, the other could not function properly.

Mrs Azuma said there was the need for understanding and collaboration between journalists and such institutions since that would culminate in national development.