President of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA), Mr. Roland Affail Monney, has strongly admonished political parties to demonstrably restrain their followers from touching any journalist before, during, and after the 2020 general elections.
He also called on the security agencies to spare journalists any brutalities and rather work with them collaboratively.
Speaking to Ghanaweb at Aburi on the sidelines of an Editors’ Forum on peace and sensitive reporting, Mr. Affail Monney, emphasised that an attack against a journalist is an attack against democracy which in turn has serious implications on the nation.
According to the GJA President, Ghana’s feat as a beacon of democracy in Africa and a reference point for press freedom must jealously be protected.
“We have earned our reputation as a reference point for press freedom, but any time journalists are attacked, it dims the beacon of our democracy and injures our reputation in the eyes of the international community,” he stressed.
However, while urging the law enforcement agencies to continue to enforce the law to safeguard Ghana’s peace, Mr. Affail Monney cautioned journalists against unprofessionalism, urging them not to amplify the drumbeat of violence by any political party or display bias.
He again called on them to make conscious efforts to tilt their stories and programmes towards conflict-free elections.
“Journalists must sharpen their sense of safety not only against the insidious coronavirus but also against vicious cancer of violence. They should scrupulously think through the consequences and fully weigh the implications of whatever they broadcast or publish,” he advised earlier at the Forum.
The Editors’ Forum, a GJA Election 2020 project, was on the theme, “No political vigilantism and electoral violence in Ghana” and it was funded by STAR-Ghana Foundation.
It is 14-month project that seeks to sensitise media practitioners on contributing meaningfully on national discourse on disbanding political vigilantism and eliminating electoral violence in Ghana.