Director General of Public Affairs and Communications, Ghana Police Service, ACP David Eklu, has cleared the air over recent maltreatment of some media practitioners by some officers.He said such unfortunate incidents were being investigated, adding that the appropriate steps would be taken to avoid re-occurrence in the future and assuring that journalists would be protected.
“The police or other security agencies need the media in the same way the media need the police so we can no longer work in isolation; our paths may cross but this should not make us enemies,” he remarked.
ACP Eklu was speaking at the opening of a two-day regional meeting in Accra organized by the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) and National Partners on ‘Press Freedom and Media Development in West Africa.’
The meeting, according to the organizers, is a pre-event to the 2018 World Press Freedom Day (WPFD) celebrations and that over the period, participants will focus on issues related to safety of journalists, dealing with challenges posed by growing activities of extremists, media development and strengthening regional collaboration for effective advocacy.
The Director General in-charge of Public Affairs and Communications advocated for the creation of a special desk where both the police and journalists will receive adequate training on crime reporting.
He also called for the documentation of guidelines to help journalists on the work of the police and other security personnel.
According to him, if the measures are implemented, they will enable the two institutions work as collaborators whose respective inputs help to develop the country’s fragile democracy.
ACP Eklu appealed to journalists to always report to the law enforcers any assault on them by the security agencies for proper investigations to be conducted into such unruly behaviours instead of publishing them.
Mr. Suleman Braimah, Executive Director of MFWA, was happy that the media landscape in Ghana had improved over the last two decades.
“The combined effects of growing democratization, legislative reforms and increasing internet access have helped the media landscape to transition from just a few controlled outlets to multiple, diversely-owned independent media in all forms,” he noted.
Prof. David Kaye, UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Opinion and Expression, urged the managers of internet organizations to protect the work of journalists so that they do not fall out of business in the wake of increasing complicated technological breakthrough.