The president of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) has said that the fulfilment or non-fulfilment of the state obligation to the media comes with a responsibility the media dare not shirk.

Dr Roland Affail Monney said this responsibility, relates to orchestrating a campaign discourse devoid of linguistically toxic material which sections of the media shamelessly spread. 

He was speaking at an election media training organised by the GJA and the Electoral Commission held in Accra.

“Language shapes behaviour, hostile communication can trigger violence, and once violence erupts no one can tell when it will end and the damage it will cause,” Dr Morney cautioned.

He noted that the Association takes note of the mushrooming of dubious websites and their poisonous content in the 2020 election season.

The GJA president advised the public not to consume such worthless contents.

The Association also urged the law and order community to deal swiftly and surgically with offenders. 

Dr Monney thanked the EC for its swift response to train members of the Association on the election process after a short notice.

“The GJA is also overly grateful to the EC for absorbing the cost of the ID cards for the election.

“We recalled with pain the scenario in 2016 when the EC inflicted the cost on journalists and the backlash as expected was swift and sour,” he said.

He said Covid-19 and the death of former President Jerry John Rawlings have drastically reduced the political temperature but do not remove from the fact that the danger of media-induced violence still looms. 

This danger, according to him should signal a clarion caution to the media not to push the nation to the trajectory of self-destruction.

Dr Monney said the media had an onerous responsibility to help build faith in the election process adding faith in any election is as important as it’s outcome hence all media outlets should help achieve this sacred political goal.

“Irrespective of their partisan orientation, all media outlets should help achieve this sacred political goal but it does not mean the media should spare the EC of the gift of criticism because such criticism should help improve our election management system and destroy it,” Mr. Monney said.