Ho, Ghana – Mr. Kofi Yeboah, the General Secretary of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA), has called on journalists and media practitioners to steadfastly serve as guardians of peace and development in the lead-up to Ghana’s 2024 Elections. He emphasized the pivotal role of journalism in information dissemination, education, and entertainment, as mandated by the Constitution.
During his representation of Mr. Albert Dwumfuor, GJA President, at the ‘Journalists for Peaceful Discourse’ training in Ho, Mr. Yeboah stressed the importance of these values in stimulating development, social cohesion, and national integration. The event, part of the GJA-US Embassy Ghana Elections 2024 project, was themed ‘Promoting Peaceful Journalistic Media Platforms Ahead of Elections 2024.’ The training, sponsored by the US Embassy, drew select journalists, show hosts, political party representatives, and members of the Electoral Commission.
According to Ghana News Agency, informed journalism is crucial for accurately guiding public discourse. He highlighted the significance of education for media professionals and the necessity to adhere to the ethical standards outlined in Article Two of the GJA guidelines. Mr. Yeboah cautioned journalists against prioritizing speed over accuracy, emphasizing the importance of fact-checking to maintain the integrity, objectivity, and credibility of news stories.
He underscored the critical nature of the 2024 elections, noting that their success would hinge on the professionalism of journalists, particularly television and radio hosts. Mr. Yeboah pointed out that political discourse should focus on ideas and development rather than inciting violence and disunity. He stressed the media’s responsibility to provide a balanced platform for all stakeholders and avoid contributing to instability.
Mr. Yeboah also extended gratitude to the US Embassy for their ongoing support of journalist training since 2012. Ms. Rebecca Ekpe, the GJA’s Public Affairs Officer and Project Lead, emphasized the need for issue-based journalism as Ghana approaches another crucial election. She noted that radio, due to its wide reach, is a key medium that must be used responsibly to prevent incitement.
The training included presentations on fact-checking tools by Mr. Fred Duodu, Secretary of the Volta and Oti Chapter. He advised journalists to distinguish facts from opinions in their reporting and on their shows. Mr. Nuhu Mahama, the Oti Regional Director of the Electoral Commission, provided an overview of the Commission’s role and preparations for the 2024 elections.
Mr. Emmanuel Agbaxode, Chairman of the Volta and Oti GJA Chapter, reminded journalists of their critical role as the ‘fourth estate of the realm’ and the need to uphold media excellence, particularly during the upcoming elections. The event was also attended by key political figures, including Mr. James Gunu from the National Democratic Congress and Mr. Stephen Akpablie from the New Patriotic Party, and featured a panel presentation on show hosting techniques.