The Deputy Northern Regional Minister, Alhaji A.B.A. Fuseini, has urged journalists to hold tight to professional ethics and add value to the profession in order to serve their revered watchdog role in society.
A seasoned journalist himself, Alhaji Fuseini said it is unfortunate that many media practitioners fail to apply moral values of fairness, just and balanced reportage, which, he said, has serious repercussions of derailing the gains of the country.
In his keynote address at the induction ceremony of the Northern Regional executives of the Ghana Journalists Association in Tamale over the weekend, the deputy minister urged journalists to do away with mediocre practices in order to uplift the image of the profession and change the negative perceptions often associated with it.
He said the recognition given the media as the fourth estate of the realm is for journalists to keep public and private officeholders accountable to the people, describing chapter 12 of the 1992 Constitution on the “freedom and independence of the media” as one of the most jealously guarded provisions.
Alhaji Fuseini also encouraged journalists working in the region to be abreast with the developmental trends and potentials in the region and not to always concentrate on reporting about events that paint a bad image about the region.
“The Northern Region has many development potentials which we as journalists must put on the market to potential investors. Let us, therefore, change our reportage of the negative perception about the region by selling the good image to encourage and open the area for more investors,” he said.
The deputy minister, however, bemoaned the poor conditions of service for journalists across the country, which often affects their search for credible and unbiased information.
Swearing in the three-member executive board of the association, Supervising High Court judge, Justice Lawrence L. Mensah, charged them to abide by the dictates of their offices and maintain high level of ethics and trust.
He said the institution of journalism is one of the most revered practices of every country in ensuring accountability and transparency in the management of public offices and urged journalists to be exemplary in that regard.
He also reminded media practitioners to be wary of unsubstantiated, malicious and spiteful remarks that lead to libel.
The outgoing Northern Regional chairperson of the GJA, Mr Alidu Baba, and the incoming chairman, Mr Cesare Abagli of the Ghana News Agency, both reiterated the commitment of the association to play its crucial role to educate, inform and entertain the public.
They also expressed worry about the increasing level of negative reportage and mediocre practices that have characterised the media landscape in the region and urged their colleagues to uphold professional ethics.
Mr Abagli encouraged members to officially register and join the association while advocating that the national GJA constitution be relaxed to enable more members get on board.
The new executives include Cesare Abagli of the Ghana News Agency (GNA) as chairman, Yakubu Abdul Majeed of the New Times Corporation (NTC) as the vice chairman and Salifu Mohammed Nurudeen of the Daily Graphic as the secretary.
The swearing in ceremony was witnessed by members of the academia, the judiciary, security services, the Commission for Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE), political parties’ representatives, traditional leadership, opinion leaders, and interest groups.
Source: The Finder
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