General News of Sun, 5 Aug 201825
Stop twisting facts – Akufo-Addo tells journalists
President Akufo-Addo has expressed grave concern about the deliberate misrepresentation of facts by some of the country’s media practitioners.
That, he said “happens when there is a little twist of facts often to get the best headline, or a publication of unverified claim in the haste to be first in breaking the news.”
He expressed the concern at the 12th Congregation of the Ghana Institute of Journalism (GIJ) in Accra yesterday at the school’s new site.
“The worrying trend is that, in many cases, even after the public has been misinformed and the true facts are later made known, mainstream media often chickens out of an honest and open acknowledgement of their error. The choice is often to sweep it under the carpet, and move on to the next big story”, the President complained.
He has, therefore, encouraged media owners, in particular, to invest continuously in building the capacity of their staff since “the media has immeasurable power to build up the confidence and values of society and its institutions.”
President Akufo-Addo reiterated his administration’s commitment to empower the citizen, media and civil society, giving the assurance that the Right to Information Bill which is in Parliament would soon be passed into law.
He also assured GIJ of government’s commitment to help develop the infrastructural capacity of the institution since that, to a large extent, would help accommodate the increased student population who, in the next couple of years, would be seeking admission at the institution as a result of the Free Senior High School policy.
“An initial modest amount of GH¢5 million has been allocated to GIJ in the 2018 budget, and the least I can do is to make sure that GETFund releases this money to you as soon as possible to help complete the first of many lecture hall complexes and offices here,” he said.
To members of the graduating class, President Akufo-Addo urged them to “be the generation of Ghanaian media practitioners that refuse to be either a victim or a pawn, and accept to travel down the path of genuine popular enlightenment, which represents the strongest guarantee of our national independence and sovereignty. Freedom of expression, encompassing media freedom, is a critical element of that journey, which you must help guard jealously at all times.”