Panellists, discussing the role of the media in Africa’s development, have asked practitioners to project the adoption of the positive attitudes and actions that will engender the desired socio-economic transformation.
They said the immense power of the media must be used responsibly to drive the requisite change among those in both leadership positions and the citizenry.
The panellists, Bernard Avle of Citi FM/TV, Selikem Acolatse - Ghana Broadcasting Cooperation (GBC), Ridwan Osman - GhOne and Alfred Ocansey - TV3; were speaking at the Third Edition of the educative programme, Rethinking Africa.
Campus Live, a student-group at the Ghana Institute of journalism (GIJ) organised the event to highlight the role of the media and journalists in national Development.
It was also to serve as platform to share experiences, enlighten and mentor budding communicators on their roles as professionals, especially on how to report on situations to impact the society positively.
For his part, Mr Avle said the media was a shaping tool and a potent medium, which should be used appropriately to change lives.
“The media is a gatekeeper for the society; it is a watchdog and a tracker of events,” he said. “It also provides the platform for journalists to bring out the truth about their society because the people have the right to be informed.”
Mr Avle said practitioners could not solely on their talents to deliver and urged them seek knowledge and be disciplined so as to promote professionalism and ethical behaviour.
Ms Acolatse admonished young journalists to focus more on stories and articles, which would make society better for all of its citizens.
“We are agents of change so we should be mindful of what write or report, especially because we wield the power to speak on behalf of the people,” she said.
Mr Osman also emphasised the role of publishing information that would enlighten people to make sound decisions for their liberation and wellbeing.
He, therefore, urged practitioners to undertake field trips to receive firsthand information in order to appreciate the plight and the perspectives of the vulnerable for redress.
Mr Ocansey cautioned against unethical practices and unscrupulous behaviour and urged practitioners to always abide by the ethics of the profession and that of the society, saying breaches had dire consequences on their credibility and impact on society.