THE PRESS Foundation (TPF), a non-governmental media advocacy group has advised journalists in the country to consider boycotting coverage of all public programmes that can put their lives in danger.
The TPF believes that until organizers of such programmes see the need to treat media practitioners with dignity and accord them the requisite recognition, journalists must avoid patronizing such programmes.
The Foundation is of the view that journalists in the country have over the years not been accorded the kind of respect they deserve and that ”such unfair treatment must not be allowed to continue”. The call by the TPF comes in the wake of recent controversy over how organizers of the 59th Independence Anniversary handled media personnel who were invited to cover the programme.
The Foundation further recounted several acts of inhumane treatment meted out to some journalists in the country in their line of duty which it noted, had been left unattended and indicated that the situation was an affront to press freedom and democracy.
The TPF observed that as the country gets into the political mood with the elections around the corner, it was important that state authorities and leadership of the various political parties offered enough guarantee to media practitioners in terms of their safety as they strive hard to fish out information worthy of public consumption.
Statements signed by the Executive Director and Communications Officer, Listowell Yesu Bukarson and Aboagye Frank Jackson respectively, noted that leaders of the various political parties must whip their supporters in line and advise them against unruly behaviour exhibited towards journalists in the country.
It noted that many media practitioners would be at the mercy of some party loose-heads who cannot tolerate any reportage that goes against their party. “TPF has every reason to believe that some journalists have already been marked since our records have enough evidence to proof that issues of physical attack on journalists have been denied proper investigation.” it said.
The statement however called on journalists to first of all consider their personal safety and if possible boycott all programmes that do not guarantee adequate security.
From Issah Alhassan, Kumasi
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