|WANEP Engages Media Practitioners For Peaceful Elections|
|Thursday, 16 February 2012 10:47|
The West African Network For Peace-building (WANEP), Ghana, has engaged media practitioners in the Tamale Metropolis in a brainstorming session on how to collaborate to help the country organize a violence-free election in December this year.
According to the National Network Coordinator of WANEP-Ghana, Mr. Justin Bayor, the meeting is necessary because of public complaints about the politics of insult and vindictive language in the media which have the potential of plunging the country into violent conflict if the situation is not addressed.
He particularly expressed concern about the fact that among the 14 hot spot in the country, nine of them were in Northern Ghana, making the northern part of the country more prone to violent conflicts if media practitioners churn out information from their network without circumspection.
“It is in view of these reasons that the World Association of Christians Churches based in Canada has seen the need to make funds available for us to engage media personnel for us to see how we can bring our expertise together to ensure a violence free elections for the country before, during and after the December 2012 elections,” Mr. Bayor stated.
A board member of WANEP-Ghana and a Communication Specialist, Reverend Father Thaddeus Kuusah, urged media practitioners to reinstitute their traditional roles of gate-keeping and agenda setting.
He noted that the media, which should be setting the agenda for politicians and society in general to follow rather allowed politicians to set the agenda for them.
He said many journalists in the Ghanaian media today were subject to manipulations by some selfish politicians, resulting in sheer fabrications and sensationalism of news items just to satisfy those rapacious politicians.
He said better media meant less conflict in our societies urged practitioners in the industry to let prudence and good judgment be their watch words in the run-up to the 2012 elections.
Some media practitioners expressed concern about the unprofessional behaviour of some of the so called senior journalists who were hiding behind the profession to foment trouble.
They were of the opinion that some journalists who were sympathizers of political parties always projected the interest of those parties above their journalistic ethics by writing stories for the benefit of their political parties.
“Many of these managing editors and editors-in-chief are politicians who are masquerading as journalists and what they publish is not news but sheer propaganda,” observed Isaac Nongya.
Another journalist, Saaka Mohammed, was of the view that irresponsible journalism was gaining ground in the Ghanaian society because many journalists had the erroneous impression that they could publish anything without being asked to account for their actions.