The Ashanti Regional Supervising High Court Judge has asked the media to be constructive in their reportage and shun what he describes as “negative emotional journalism.”
Justice Kofi Akowiah was of the view that if news would be beneficial to citizens, then there was the need to find better ways to create, deliver and consume journalism that would be more relevant, reliable and responsive to the audience, and avoid the way “our emotions respond to the actions of someone else.”
He said these during the swearing-in of the Ashanti Regional executives of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA), last Wednesday.
The judge pointed out that people see journalists or the media as an important stakeholder in national development and there was the need to find better ways to give context and promote understanding in their reportage.
Justice Akowiah asked broadcasters, especially those communicating in Twi language to be guided by the ethics of the profession and avoid sensationalism.
Noting that there were lots of media practitioners who did not work with the ethics of the profession, Justice Akowiah charged the GJA to ensure that the right thing was done to brighten the image of the profession.
The Supervising High Court Judge urged the GJA to endeavour to engage stakeholders and other media organisations to dialogue to make sure practitioners comply with the ethics of the profession as done with other professions such as the law.
“You should do this to make sure members are in compliance with the ethics of the profession, else you would be failing as an association,” he intoned.
He mentioned that the judiciary was ready to help the association to build the capacity of its members through training to be more professional, stressing, “as journalists you must be properly educated.”
“If you do not understand what you are communicating, you end up just talking,” he observed.
Chairman of the Regional Association, Kingsley E.Hope, thanked the judge and assured that efforts would be made to ensure that members lived up to expectation for the development of the country.