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Regional News Tue, 6 Jan 2004

Journalists urged not to compromise the nation's image

Kumasi, Jan. 6, GNA - Mr Sampson Kwaku Boafo, Ashanti Regional Minister, has appealed to Ghanaian journalists not to compromise the image of the nation for their own parochial interests.

They should rather allow the national image and interest to reign supreme in their reportage in order to promote social cohesion and attract goodwill and investment into the country.

He said this at an end-of-year reception for journalists and other media practitioners in the Ashanti Region at the Residency on Monday. Mr Boafo cited some countries in Africa where negative media reportage led to chaos and said Ghanaian journalists had the duty to promote unity, social cohesion and friendliness among all groups in society.

He also urged journalists to be careful in the choice of words especially when reporting on political and security issues. The Regional Minister said recent media report in Kumasi had caused considerable tension among the people in the metropolis. He said the security agencies were working hard to bring the activities of the criminals who were terrorising people in the city under control.

Mr Boafo advised the media not to concentrate their reportage on political issues alone especially during this election year but play more advocacy role to help the voiceless in order to minimise poverty, disease and ignorance.

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He said the government had shown a lot of commitment to the promotion of media freedom in the country and it was the responsibility of the media to reciprocate the gesture by promoting peace and harmony among the people.

Brigadier George Aryiku, General Officer Commanding the Northern Command, assured the public that the security agencies were in firm control of the situation and would do everything possible to control the activities of criminals in the region.

He, however, said the security agencies could not operate successfully without assistance from the public and urged the media to provide timely information to enable the agencies to act swiftly. Brigadier Aryiku said it was his desire and determination to ensure that the region remained calm, especially during the electioneering campaign.

Chief Superintendent Paul Siaw, Ashanti Regional Crime Officer, said a number of criminals had been arrested in connection with the recent criminal activities in the region and gave the assurance that the security agencies would continue to pursue them till all of them are arrested.

Source: GNA
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