Be neutral and objective in election reporting – Journalists advised

Abesim (B/A), Feb. 22, GNA – Mr Francis Ameyibor, General Co-ordinator of Communication for Development and Advocacy Consult, has entreated journalists not to allow their personal opinions and preferences to influence their reportage during elections.

Mr Ameyibor, who gave the advice at Abesim near Sunyani to end a two-day workshop organised by the Legal Resource Centre for 30 journalists from the Brong-Ahafo, Ashanti and the Eastern regions, said journalists must avoid wearing distinctive signs to indicate either a party or candidate affiliation.

The workshop, on the theme; ‘Ensuring Peaceful Elections – the Role of the Media,’ and sponsored by the British High Commission, aimed at educating participants across the country on the role to play in the peace-building towards Election 2016 and beyond.

He said journalists had a role to play in monitoring elections to ensure transparency in the voting process and, therefore, implored them to respect the electoral laws, rules and regulations whilst monitoring electoral activities.

This, Mr Ameyibor said, was because premature announcement of unverified results could create unnecessary tension and trouble among supporters of different candidates.

He urged participants to refrain from publishing information that encouraged divisions and aggressive discussions to incite violence that would endanger social cohesion.

Alhaji Suallah Abdallah Quandah, Brong-Ahafo Regional Executive Secretary of the National Peace Council, speaking on: ‘The Role of the Media in Conflict Management and Peace-Building,’ said the media’s role as the watchdog of the society was very vital to enhance democracy and responsible governance.

He said by their watchdog role, the media could expose electoral malpractices like vote buying by politicians and errors of omission by people in authority in their pursuit to cling to power.

He said the media’s watchdog role also enjoined them through their reportage to forewarn the general public, political parties and candidates on potential issues and events that had the propensity to cause violence.

GNA


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