Dr Audrey Gadzekpo, Acting Director of the School of Communication Studies (SCS) of the University of Ghana, Legon, has appealed to media practitioners to become voices to the marginalized in society.

She urged them to use their mediums to highlight concerns of the marginalised and under-privileged in order to draw the attention of those in authority to respond to them.

Dr Gadzekpo who made the call when she led a talk on the role of the media in eliminating child labour in Ghana at Koforidua on Wednesday told journalist: “Speak for those who cannot and give voice to the voiceless by talking to them and highlighting their concerns”.

She said it had been observed that children issues, for instance, were not getting the needed treatment and attention in the media and pleaded with journalists to “develop a sense of duty towards the cause of children.”

Dr Gadzekpo said the time had come for journalists to practice development journalism by playing advocacy role to bring about social justice, empowerment and social reforms for the vulnerable in society.

This, she said, required journalists to document the conditions of children, scrutinize government policies on child issues and analyze whether or not they were effective in dealing with the problem.

Dr Gadzekpo also charged journalists to critically compare planned projects with their actual implementation and not only report on them but also proposed solutions that might help in a more effective implementation.

She said for the media to succeed in this role, practitioners must develop a higher sense of obligation towards minors, and move away from the current development whereby write-ups on issues were marked by poor quality coverage and the lack of in-depth analysis.

Dr Gadzekpo said journalists must ensure that stories on children’s issues were factual, credible and with verifiable sources.

Mr Vincent Frimpong-Manu, a programmes officer at the National Programme for the Elimination of Worst Forms of Child Labour in Cocoa growing areas, said the state would not spare any one who toils with the rights of the child.

Source: GNA