Media professionals encouraged to promote peaceful electoral discourse  

By Mildred Siabi-Mensah, GNA 

Nkroful (W/R), April 15, GNA – Media professionals have been advised against the hasty declaration of electoral results without conferring with the Electoral Commission (EC). 

They have also been warned against broadcasting “planted” stories by some politicians and their party followers without proper due diligence, which had the tendency to harm the peace and security of the nation. 

Madam Effie Wilson, the Western Regional Director, EC, gave the advice when she spoke on the theme: “Reporting on Electoral Processes, what must the Journalist Know,” at the Zone five training for journalists from the Western, Western North and the Central regions of Ghana. 

The training, an initiative of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) with funding from the United States Embassy, would help in ensuring peaceful discourse on most media platforms ahead of Election 2024, to entrench the enviable peaceful state of the country.  

Promoting peaceful journalistic discourse on the various media platforms across the country ahead of the elections was critical and a duty of all Ghanaians to consolidate the 30 years of Ghana’s Democratic principles, she said. 

Madam Wilson said because many people turned to the media for information to make decisions, it was important for all media stakeholders to adopt the right communication tools to tell factual stories in a manner that promoted peace. 

Dr Moses Maclean Abnory, the Registrar of the Takoradi Technical University (TTU), took the practitioners through fact-checking, misinformation, disinformation and malinformation in elections coverage. 

He said the media were key drivers in the quest for Ghana’s development and, therefore, must be intentional in interrogating sources and their intents for even leaking confidential information.  

Ethical reporting should be the goal of every professional media institution or Journalist, with a goodwill towards nation building, he noted. 

Mr Albert Dwumfour, the President, GJA, pleaded with media practitioners to refrain from hate speech and unsavoury words. 

However, the Association would not relent in standing by its members through thick and thin, and called on all practitioners to take cover and register under GJA’s umbrella, assuring that the challenges regarding membership registration had been cleared. 

Madam Rebecca Ekpe, the Public Relations Officer, GJA, said research findings from Election 2020 had necessitated the nationwide training of journalists to avoid misguided reportage.  

The ten-month project on Journalists for Peaceful Discourse would, thus, improve upon the skills of the media, focusing particularly on the Akan speaking FM stations to shape communication.