Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II has asked media practitioners to disabuse their minds of the notion that their freedom is without bounds.
Speaking at the launch of the first-ever media capacity enhancement training for 250 journalists in Kumasi, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II observed that the repeal of the criminal libel law only eliminated the criminality associated with the law.
“The media needs to disabuse its mind of the misconception that its freedom is without bounds. The removal of the criminal libel law only removed the criminal libel element which could send journalist to jail but the right of the citizen to have recourse to the law for the protection of their reputation against defamation by the media remains absolutely intact,” he stressed.
The media capacity enhancement training is designed to provide scholarships for some 250 journalists to be trained annually and is expected to contribute to deepening media professionalism nationwide.
He noted that the law on defamation empowers the citizenry to sue journalists in the event of any publication of false information.
Otumfuo Osei Tutu II said the greatest asset of the journalism profession is credibility of one’s reportage.
He reminded journalists of their responsibilities to promote peace, cohesion and national development.
“You all have a duty to protect and preserve the unity and stability of our country. In the face of all the turmoil in the world, you are proud because you can point to your country with pride and its stability and increasing success,” he stated.
The Asantehene applauded the Information Ministry for coming up with such a training programme as it will help bridge the knowledge gap of many journalists.
“As the man with the official responsibility for information, I applaud the Honourable Minister, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah and his Ministry for not seeking the path of confrontation on the issue. Recourse to education is the appropriate step in our circumstances and I am pleased he has found this formidable team of experts to kick start the educational journey.
It is my hope that improving the understanding of our practitioners will contribute to our enhancement of the quality of the media and diminish the sources of concern we see today,” he said.
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