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General News Tue, 5 Feb 2008

Shy away from sensational reportage -Oboshie

SHY AWAY FROM UNSUBSTANTIATED AND SENSATIONAL REPORTAGE – OBOSHIE

As the country gears up towards election 2008, media personnel have been admonished to provide news devoid of dangerous personal sentiments, unsubstantiated political sensationalism, and ethnic connotations. This will ensure that "together we can focus on issues that concern us all, and make news one of the tools for another successful election".

The Minister of Information and National Orientation, Hon. Oboshie Sai Cofie gave the advice at the official launching of Choice 102.3 FM's 24Hour service in Accra on Monday. She expressed dissatisfaction regarding the distortions, inaccuracies, unjustifiable innuendos, blatant insults, and unwarranted speculations that lately, seem to be creeping into newspaper pages, web sites, and on Ghanaian airwaves.

On measures to stem the tide, she reiterated her earlier calls on journalists to provide factual, unbiased and objective stories in their news reports. She stressed on the need to demand accuracy, veracity, and strict proof from all fronts

The Information and National Orientation Minister, herself a media heavyweight, urged media practitioners to renew their commitment to make sure that the stories on our airwaves are subjected to the strictest standards of authentication and proof, in conformity to the ethics of the profession.

Hon Oboshie Sai Cofie reaffirmed government commitment to continuously support journalists, the media, and citizens alike to have an environment and population that is well informed, and also to have the right to inform. To this end, she said her Ministry is currently working hard, in consultation with all stakeholders to speed up work on a draft Broadcasting Bill, which when passed, is expected to inure greatly to the benefit of all.

The chairperson for the occasion, Mrs. Oware, who is also a co-proprietor of the station, enjoined her staff to work hard towards the promotion and success of the station.

Mr. Bright Blewu, General Secretary of the Ghana Journalists Association reminded Choice Fm and all media practitioners to be very particular about ethics, especially as we enter the crucial electioneering period.

The admonitions of the Minister and GJA General Secretary could not have come at a better time when the Ghanaian media landscape is awash with mudslinging, disparaging and shameful reportage on the leading figures of the two leading political parties in the country.

Source: BOAKYE-BOATENG PRINCE