Ghana Journalists Association President, Roland Affail Monney has urged politicians to commend journalists for their work throughout this election period rather than condemn them.
Considering the weight of duty journalists bore in their quest to produce credible and reliable coverage of the election, Mr. Monney believes that the media deserves commendation.
“The degree of injury reflects the magnitude of the task, the challenges journalists go through when they cover such elections. So the least we expect from political actors is commendation and not condemnation,” he said.
His comment was in reaction to the verbal assaults from the National Democratic General Secretary, Johnson Asiedu Nketia who had accused the media of manufacturing figures to declare the New Patriotic Party’s Presidential Candidate, Akufo-Addo as president-elect of the Republic.
Speaking on Newsfile, Affail Monney, however, stated that considering the current political atmosphere, these unwarranted attacks are to be expected. Nevertheless, he reminded journalists of the responsibility they carry and cautioned them not to maintain the peace.
“Given the red hot anger and high voltage tensions, it came as no surprise that Asiedu Nketia went on that tangent. So his emotive statements should be examined within that context. But the fact is that we are even inured to such caustic, acidic comments.
“But this also places a high responsibility on us not to fan the flames of tension or stoke violence. So we have the responsibility imposed by heaven, imposed by the profession to help pull this nation from the current precipice from which it finds itself,” he said.
In his view, the media plays “a frontal role in creating a consensual framework to resolve these issues and to ensure that at the end of it all, Ghana will be at peace with itself and at peace with the rest of the world.”
He, however, entreated journalists to be fearless and bold in their reportage and not be cowed by angry politicians.
“We urge all media practitioners to be unafraid and unintimidated because this is the cross we have decided to carry. And we ought to carry this cross in the supreme interest of mother Ghana.”
Concerning journalists who were physically attacked and may need urgent medical attention and financial support, the GJA President referred to the agreement the Association made with the State Insurance Company (SIC) as being available to victims of the attacks.
“We entered into an agreement with SIC, state insurance PLC rallied to our aid with a package of 20 million cedis to address some of these challenges. So as we speak to you, one of our colleagues was operated upon yesterday, the SIC acted with urgent promptitude and so as a result the SIC has a package which release 40,000 cedis lump sum and 50,300 cedis every month to the victims of such attacks,” he said.
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