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Investigative Journalists, Anas Aremeyaw Anas, Manasseh Azure Awuni and development journalist, Joseph Opoku Gapko have been celebrated as having given true meaning to journalism within the democratic dispensation of Ghana.
Upholding truth and digging the ‘left out’ stories from the cruxes, these three have in various capacities won international recognition through stories they have produced on pertinent issues in the country.
Commemorating the World Press Freedom Day, Ranking Member of Parliament’s committee on Foreign Affairs and Member of Parliament for North Tongu, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa touted the remarkable efforts by these journalists towards ensuring the right thing is done in society and ethics are maintained in the profession of Journalism.
“Mr. Speaker to celebrate Ghanaian journalists who have in recent times made Ghana proud by winning coveted international awards: this list must surely include Anas Aremeyaw Anas who was awarded this January at Lausanne, Switzerland for his “Number 12” expose, Manasseh Azure Awuni of the Multimedia Group who in October 2018 emerged as the West African Journalist of the Year and our own Joseph Opoku Gakpo of the Parliamentary Press Corps who has been adjudged the 2018 world best video journalist by the International Federation of Agricultural Journalists (IFAJ)”, parts of the statement read.
He further congratulated all media houses and journalists who have through their various efforts have ensured the truth is conveyed to society through their platforms.
“On this day, I salute our gallant compatriots of the Fourth Estate – the stringers working under harsh conditions in remote areas, the investigative journalists who brave the odds to expose wrong, the production teams who must go to work at ungodly times, the media house owners who strive through adverse economic conditions, and our very own Parliamentary Press Corps without whom what transpires here will stay within the confines of this Chamber – to all of you, I say Ayekoo and Akpe Ga”.
Mr. Okudzeto was however emphatic about the importance of dealing with the menace of fake news which have the tendency to create chaos, fear and panic in society.
He also raised concerns about the safety of journalists and the need for attacks and brutalities on media persons to be curbed and dealt with seriously.
“We must all reflect on the dangers posed by disinformation as a product of a toxic mix of abuse of technology, violation of data privacy, interference by rogue external elements and often with the active collaboration of unscrupulous insider actors. Fake News and a Weaponized Media that plays on our fears in order to divide us must be defeated. It is my hope that we shall draw lessons from how disinformation has eroded the democratic gains in other jurisdictions and get ahead of the curve to formulate policy and legislative reforms that will seek to protect our relatively nascent democracy”.
“We have come too far as a country to have any threshold of tolerance whatsoever for reports such as the police brutalities meted out to the three Ghanaian Times journalists (Raissa Sambou, a lactating mother, Malik Sulleman, a court reporter, Abdul Salifu Rahman, Assistant Editor), that of Latif Iddrisu of Joy News, and other incidents of assault like those against Victor Kawukume and Timothy Gobah all of the Daily Graphic. We must send a clear message to all that this nation will not countenance any abuse or attack whatsoever on journalists carrying out their legitimate duties.
Read the full statement below:
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