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General News Sun, 31 May 2009

NDC Government to guarantee press freedom

Accra May 31, GNA - Mrs. Zita Okaikwe, Minister for Information, has said that the National Democratic Congress (NDC), government would regarded the media as a partner in development and ensure that press freedom was guaranteed. She advised journalists to be objective and avoid misrepresentation, tribalism and factual errors that could inflame passion.

Mrs. Okaikwe, who was speaking at a two-day workshop for parliamentary press corps in Accra, reminded the media that the escalation of conflicts and chaos in some African countries were due to irresponsible journalism.

The programme that was under the theme: "Reporting Objectively in the Face of Challenges, the Role of the Parliamentary Reporter", was sponsored by the UNDP. Mr. Edwin Arther, Dean of the Parliamentary Press Corps, said that professionalism and journalistic ethics "had been thrown to the wind and the media today is polarized and is being manipulated by the politicians."

He said journalists engaging in such practices lacked credibility and the moral right to call others to order. Mr Arthur urged the Ghana Journalist Association (GJA), to initiated measures to prevent negative journalism, which he said was dividing the country.

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He said that "Some Journalists have neglected the coverage of other issues and are concentrating on politics giving room for politicians to capitalize on it".

Mr. Arthur said that with the mushrooming of Journalism training institutions in the country, most of which were producing half-baked media practitioners, the profession could be endangered. Mr. Affail Monney, Vive President of GJA, called on Journalists to specialize in specific areas of reporting because it was "the hall mark of professionalism."

He said Parliament required elaborate coverage since members represented people of the entire country and urged parliamentary reporters to have a good grasp of how the law making body operated. Mr. Monney advised media houses to maintain their parliamentary reporters for a long period to enable them to learn and be abreast with parliamentary procedures.

Source: GNA
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