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01.04.2006 General News

Journalist's weapon is truth and accuracy - Agyekum

By GNA

Takoradi, April 01, GNA - Mr Frank Agyekum, Government's Spokesman on Governance on Saturday said the media should make truth, fairness, objectivity and accuracy the major weapon of every Journalist. He said; "if the media reports falsehood and ignores the truth, it would polarise the nation."

Speaking at the launching of Effia-Kwesiminstim Observer, a Community Newspaper at Takoradi, Mr Agyekum said Journalists should not only publish what society want to hear but rather what would be in the best interest of society and development.

"It is sad that we sometimes hide behind society, ignore basic principles of journalism and publish stories to malign people," He added.

The Observer published by Nana Kofi Koomson, Editor of the Chronicle, would focus on the Shama Ahanta East Metropolitan Area. Mr George Amihere Naykene, Western Regional Chairman-elect of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA), advised publishers, owners and managers of media institutions in the country to employ qualified and competent staff.

He said with competent staff employed in the media, it would not only promote professionalism but also enhance the work of Journalists. Mr Naykene said management of media institutions could train their non-professionals through the collaboration of regional branches of GJA and the national secretariat.

He said the media landscape had become very competitive and the use of incompetent personnel could ruin their investments and destroy their vision.

Mr Naykene reminded Journalists not to ignore the rights of women and children but rather focus on their contributions to national development and report more about their plight.

He urged media practitioners to focus more on the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) and encourage the citizenry to patronise it. Mr Naykene urged districts that had not implemented the NHIS to do so without delay, adding; "any further delay would erode the trust and confidence that people have in the scheme."

"It is sad that while many people were enjoying the benefits of the NHIS, most people still endured the cash and carry system," He added.

Odeneho Gyapong Ababio, President of the National House of Chiefs said the newspaper could market itself when it published genuine reports.

He said misleading news reports would discourage people from patronising the newspaper.

Mr Kwame Amoasi Andoh, National Project Coordinator of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) said a community newspaper must be managed well to ensure its sustainability. He said a community newspaper must be effectively managed to create jobs, promote business, investments, tourism and assist in the socio-economic development of the people. Mr Amoasi appealed to the communities to patronise the newspaper and sustain it. 01 April 06

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