The President of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) has cautioned journalists to be development and preventive journalists instead of taking delight in reporting negative stories.
Dr Roland Affail Monney noted that the time has come for journalists to take a special interest in reporting on issues that matters most, that promotes national interest.
He said issues such as road safety is a major concern to everyone especially the GJA hence journalists are encouraged to help curb the menace by writing educative stories on the topic.
He said this while addressing members of the Association in the Volta, Eastern and Oti Regions at a training workshop organised by the GJA and the National Road Safety Authority in Ho.
“Don’t be ambulance and Fire service journalists who are only interested in reporting negativity but rather be the role model that would do development stories on issues that matter most to the nation, issues that would bring positive change to the country,“ Dr Monney advised.
Dr Monney said there is the need for journalists to take a critical look at road accidents and how best they can use their power and influence to help reduce the menace of road accidents by developing stories around the issues.
He was speaking under the theme ‘Effective Road Safety Advocacy Campaign, the role of the media’.
The workshop was to encourage the media to give a comprehensive approach to issues on road safety.
At the same event, the Deputy Volta Regional Minister, Rev Johnson Avuletey who gave the keynote address said road accidents have been one of the leading causes of death in the country.
“Road accidents continue to be one of the major causes of death in the country and have even killed more than Covid-19 looking at the statistics available on the two issues,” Rev Avuletey noted.
Rev Avuletey also observed that another challenge facing the country is the behaviour of some cyclists on the roads which is a great worry to the authorities.
He urged the media to take the challenge and educate the public through their work.
“Another major challenge is the behavioural change of some motorcyclists especial in the region which is a huge problem to us and I am, therefore, appealing to the media to focus much attention on motorcycle education,“ he pleaded.
According to him, duty bearers seem to have relaxed in the performance of their duties.
He said the police must enforce road safety measures and all laws governing the use of roads.
The Minister commended the media houses who have started the campaign on road safety and urged others to emulate them.
“The Multimedia Group have started a vigorous campaign on road safety dubbed arrive alive and this has so far made a positive impact on the campaign against road accidents,” he stated.
The Volta/Oti Chairman of GJA Kafui Kanyi noted that the media is an effective tool in promoting behavioural change.
He charged the media to set the agenda on relevant issues that affects all of us especially road safety and driving it the agenda in a manner that causes behavioural change should be of our topmost priority.
Kafui Kanyi said the media have demonstrated in very successful campaigns and advocacy, the campaign against galamsy and poor sanitation practices be successful without the media”.
“We are all road users and need to come together as a team to combat it and in this election year.
“All journalists will be busy crisscrossing this country reporting political events and many other issues but the death of Samuel Nuamah on the Ho -Accra highway is still fresh on our minds, “Mr Kanyi said.