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Media’s role in safeguarding peace and security in Ghana is crucial – Information Minister

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Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, the Information Minister has described the role of the media in safeguarding peace and security in Ghana as crucial. With the insurgence of threats of terrorism attacks to the country from West African sub-regions, coupled with land and tribal conflicts including the Bawku conflict, the minister said journalists in the country especially those in the Upper East Region have an additional responsibility in safeguarding the peace and security in Ghana.

“Mr. Jalulah [GJA Upper East Chairman], you and your executives and indeed the Upper East GJA have a lot to do in case to complement the efforts of the government of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo in safeguarding the peace and security of the region and Ghana at large”

The minister’s speech was read by Alhaji Yusif Fofana, Government Spokesperson on Social Services during the 2nd Upper East Regional Ghana Journalists Association Awards. Speaking on the theme ‘Safeguarding the peace and security of the Upper East Region: the Role of the Media” 

The media acknowledged the importance of the media in promoting peace and national cohesion and called on journalists to be responsible in their reporting and not to incite violence that will jeopardise the peace the country enjoys.

“The press is referred to as the Fourth East of the Realm. The governance of democracy and defendants of the public interest. We can effectively discharge this role if only we focus on presenting a full, fair, and accurate account of the news in order to inform and entertain the general public. In doing this, we also need to be sensitive to the feelings and sentiments of people and avoid sensationalism in our presentation of the news”

The minister’s speech highlighted the potential impact of the media on national security, stating that the United Nations Regional Declaration has stressed the need to ensure the freedom of the media to perform their essential role.

National Vice President of the GJA, Linda Asante Agyei said the theme for the awards was appropriate considering the effects of conflicts that have undermined the development of the Upper East Region. She entreated the media in the region to play a role in ensuring conflicts in the region are resolved.

“It is important for media practitioners and institutions to recognize the cardinal purpose of their mandate, which cuts human development and growth. The days of poor journalism, which lured the media into peddling information that only strengthened the fire of conflicts, have long given way to the current era of peace journalism”.

William Nlanjerbor Jalulah, the Upper East Regional GJA Chairman, commended the media for their coverage of conflicts in the Upper East region, stating that their responsible reporting has helped to calm tensions and prevent further escalation.

Mr. Jalulah urged the media to continue to be responsible in their line of duty and to adhere to ethical principles in their reporting. He stressed the importance of accurate and balanced reporting, as well as the need to avoid sensationalism and the spreading of false information.

The 2nd edition of the Upper East Regional GJA Awards that took place on October 6, 2023, at GNAT Hall in Bolgatanga saw 19 award categories being won. 17 of those awards went to 10 deserving individual journalists, while 2 went to 2 radio stations. Five individuals were honoured for their contribution to the media industry and the region’s development. 

The main sponsor of the awards program was WaterAid Ghana under the SHARE project, which is also implemented by Right to Play, FAWE, and FHI 360 with sponsorship from Global Affairs Canada.

Other sponsors include the Silas Amoah Foundation, Bolgatanga Municipal Assembly, Afrikids Ghana, Earl International Group (Ghana) Gold Mining Ltd, MTN Ghana, Endswell Pharmacy, Youth Harvest Foundation, VRA/NEDCO, Participatory Action for Rural Development Alternatives (PARDA), and the Widows and Orphans Movement.

Source: A1Radioonline.com|101.1Mhz|Joshua Asaah|Bolgatanga|Ghana

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