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The Executive Secretary of the National Media Commission, George Sarpong has stated that despite the seeming constant tension between the Ghana Police Service and the media, both institutions are “umbilically” tied since they are involved in the same pursuit of developing a good society.
George Sarpong said personnel of the security service and the media rely on each other due to the nature of both professions.
Speaking at a forum organized by the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) in collaboration with the police in Accra, the Executive Secretary explained that while the media depends on the police for information, the police, in turn, count on the media for public education and dissemination of information.
However, stressing on the stories of police brutalizing the media, he maintained that, “it is just right because of the nature of the closeness of our relationship, we should have some conflicts.”
According to him, the police deal a lot with real physical threats hence, “It is fairly easy in moments like that to feel that notions about press freedom are abstract when you faced with complete realities of human life,” George Sarpong.
He was hopeful that the forum on police-media relations and safety of journalists will yield a mutual framework while reiterating that the NMC is ready to offer help in whatever way to strengthen the relationship between the two institutions.
Meanwhile, Inspector General of Police, David Asante Apeatu has disclosed that a manual on effective communication with the media will soon be introduced by the Service.
The manual is expected to serve as a guide to officers on how to deal with the media in case they come into contact with them in their line of duty.
He said the Service will be including in its training, a manual on police and media relations course to help reduce the friction that has characterised police and media relations in recent times.
To him, the role of the media in assisting in law enforcement cannot be understated.
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