The media in Ghana has been called upon to be self-regulatory, report accurately and with objectivity in order to sustain the current democratic dispensation.
In addition media owners were also urged to be conscious of their role and place in the promotion of democracy and buy into that agenda, instead of focusing mainly on private gain.
The public, on the other hand, was also called upon to be more vocal about their likes and dislikes about the media’s performance as a means of regulating their activities.
The calls were made at the 5th Dialogue Series of the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) which took place in Accra on Wednesday.
The three panelists who made the calls were Prof. Audrey Gadzekpo, Director, School of Communication Studies, University of Ghana, Legon; Prof. Kwame Karikari, School of Communication Studies, University of Ghana, Legon; and Ambassador Kabral Blay-Amihere, former Chairman, National Media Commission.
Among others, Prof. Gadzekpo noted that it was the media’s role and responsibility to hold government accountable, based on the truth and factual information.
For his part, Prof. Karikari urged the Ghana Independent Broadcasters Association (GIBA) to do more to curb insults on radio and improve the quality of journalism, in general, and broadcasting, in particular while Ambassador Blay-Amihere underscored the importance of the code of ethics of the journalism profession in checking the abuses of media freedom.
The occasion also provided the platform for the launch of the report of a study funded by the European Union (EU) and undertaken by the NCCE that sought to assess the effectiveness of the media in supporting Ghana’s democracy.
The report indicates that the media is effectively promoting stability in Ghana’s fourth republic which has seen three successful and peaceful transitions from one democratically-elected government to the other.
According to the report, the study reveals that media freedom was a contributory factor to the stability of the fourth republic.
The report concludes that in spite of this contribution, the media ought to be regulated to check abuses that could lead to instability and chaos.
Welcoming participants to the event, Ms Josephine Nkrumah, a Deputy Chairman of NCCE, explained that the study was necessary, considering the vital role of the media and their presence in the two decades of Ghana’s democracy.
Ms Nkrumah said the rational for the study was to assess the link, if any, between the role of the media and democracy and the media’s contribution to Ghana’s democratic stability and success.
She said the study also aimed to explore the possibility of actions that can be taken to improve the performance of the various media establishments.
Source: ISD (G.D. Zaney)