The fulfilment or even non-fulfilment of the state obligations to the media comes with a responsibility which media must not and dare not shirk. This is according to the President of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) Affial Monney.
He added that the responsibility relates to orchestrating a campaign discourse devoid of linguistically toxic material which a section of the media shamelessly disseminates.
He made this assertion at a workshop organized by the GJA and the EC to train journalists across the country on election coverage going into the 2020 crucial general election.
“Hostile communication can trigger violence. And once violence erupts no one can tell when it will end and the damage it will cause. The GJA also takes note of mushrooming of dubious websites and their poisonous content. while advising the public not to consume them,” Mr Monney said.
They urged the law and order community to deal swiftly and surgically with the offenders.
He also asserted that the media have an onerous responsibility to help build faith in the election process. “Faith in any election is as important as its outcome.
In the run-up to election 2020, the country has seen rising of fake news websites.
We can’t do away with fake news – National Media Commission
However, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has called for a concerted effort to eliminate fake news from the Ghanaian media landscape and the fabric of society.
He said it was great that people no longer had to wait till the following morning to find out what happened the previous day, thanks to technology.
However, the same technology, he indicated, was being used to promote the phenomenon of people manufacturing falsehood and fake stories, which easily passed as news.
“It is not only alarming but also poses a serious threat and danger to the very fabric of society. We must all make a concerted effort to eliminate this phenomenon from our media space,” he stressed.
But Speaking on ‘Fact Sheet’ on eTV Ghana with Samuel Eshun, Chairman for the National Media Commission (NMC), Yaw Boadu Ayeboafo said: “We cannot do away with fake news.”
According to Ayeboafo, Technology is such that anybody who thinks he can pencil people is making a mistake.