The Electoral Commission boss Charlotte Osei has reminded the media to be guided by the principles of journalism and avoid any careless reportage which could plunge Ghana into chaos on Election Day.
Speaking at the 21st Awards Night of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) Saturday, Mrs Osei said the media must not underestimate how powerful they are in influencing decisions, and must not relegate that responsibility to politicians and serial callers.
She stressed the media must uphold the truth before, during and after the elections since the destiny of Ghana lies in their hands.
“Please check everything you report on the electoral exercise,” Mrs Osei counseled members of the inky fraternity.
According to her, a report which is purely based on “mere speculations and rumours” has the potential of stoking crisis hence media practitioners should be circumspect in “opening their microphones to people.”
Mrs Osei promised an “open door relationship with the media” going into the December 7 elections in an effort “to explain, clarify and educate” because the media’s failure to “report accurately may create the condition for disputed electoral outcome without basis.”
“As a nation we don’t need that,” the EC chairperson noted. “So I’m pleading for a return to first principles; the principles and ethical values that make journalism a profession worthy of our respect and the protections which our constitution provides journalists.”
Ace investigative journalist Anas Aremeyaw Anas won the GJA Journalist of the Year 2015. He took home Hyundai SUV plus a certificate and a plaque.