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29.05.2019 Feature Article

Discipline Journalists Who Flout Ethics & Rules

Discipline Journalists Who Flout Ethics & Rules
MAY 29, 2019 FEATURE ARTICLE

JAK, I get it and I feel it. You couldn't state it better. There's brat in every home or hamlet:

To wit, "Efie biara Mensah womu."

I didn't hear you say AMEN.

Why, is it hard to say?

Or it just didn't resonate?

Well, how about this one?

Every home has its crook or bad guy.

Gotcha! The day is too young to frown Mr Brown. So, wear a smile, hug somebody and keep smiling.

Thank you, that's good enough.

Enough to set the tone for today's conversation.

I noticed you cringe, when JAK called us out.

You looked uncomfortable. Distraught.

Knew ye not that we aren't Saints and there are bad nuts among our ranks?

Truth be told, we're fallible.

We make mistakes everyday.

We aren't perfect as some of us portray or pretend to be. We slander, we misreport, we misrepresent, we mischaracterise and we blackmail people with our sword.

Why do we do that and what motivates us to behave so creepy sometimes?

Pastor Mensa Otabil says he didn't say that. Why then did you twist his speech. Is that fair?

JAK I get it. Indeed, I couldn't agree more with former President John Agyekum Kuffour (JAK).

"Your association should be able to pull up its members who flout your ethics and rules for necessary discipline," says, former President John Kufuor.

Mr Kufuor admonished media practitioners not to unduly violate the rights of individuals including government and public office holders.

The former President has also advised Ghanaian Journalists to accept mistakes when they go wrong in reporting and apologise accordingly as a mark of maturity and professionalism.

He said: “If during your duty, you get something wrong, please be bold and humble enough to accept your shortcoming and apologise for your misreporting… It makes you a more credible Journalist because to err is human.”

Mr. Kufuor was speaking at the launch of the 70th Anniversary celebration of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) on Tuesday on the theme: “Democracy, Freedom and Independence of the Media in Ghana: 70 Years of GJA’s Contribution”.

According to him, it would be arrogant on the part of a Journalist not to accept the responsibility on a proven misreporting, and that, such attitudes destroy the image of the journalism profession.

Mr Kufuor, who launched the Anniversary, said it had always been his belief that, empowered responsible media would be a critical component to the realisation of the country’s motor of “Freedom and Justice,” which was the motivation for the efforts towards liberalising the media landscape.

Corruption

The president said the crusade against corruption must continue unabated, noting that more needs to be done to fight the canker in society. He also advised the media to be fair and accurate in its reportage with regard to exposing corrupt officials.

According to him, the GJA must ensure that no one within the profession took anything for granted to endanger and subvert the fine balance enacted by the Country’s Law.

Mr Affail Monney, the President of the Association, said the Former President’s respect for the media was paramount and recounted how Mr Kufuor used his office as the President of the Republic to repeal the Criminal Libel Law, which was a bottleneck of press freedom.

He said during president Kufuor’s era, he was very helpful to the sustainability of the GJA and helped the Association to get a permanent head office, coupled with a number of supports towards media freedom.

He described the Former President as “A President to celebrate, a democrat to appreciate and a model to emulate.”

As part of the occasion, the Former President was honoured with a citation, which described him as a ‘Champion of Champions of Press Freedom’.

The occasion outdoored the logo for the 70th Anniversary and also inaugurated the Anniversary Planning Committee.

The 70th Anniversary of the GJA was attended by Government officials, members of the Diplomatic Corps, former Presidents and national executive members of the GJA, veteran and senior journalists, and representatives of corporate Ghana among other dignitaries.

Gordon Offin-Amaniampong
Gordon Offin-Amaniampong, © 2019

This author has authored 274 publications on Modern Ghana. Author column: GordonOffinAmaniampong

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