Media practitioners have been asked to reduce the high political temperature in the country to ensure peaceful general election in December 7. Mr Francis Ameyibor, a Deputy News Editor, Ghana News Agency who made the request during an interaction with the Management of GOIL in Accra, explained that the media holds the key for a peaceful elections: “We have the key to either continue to raise the political tempo which will invariable create the platform for violence.
“Or we reduce the tempo through pro-active reportage, creation of enabling fair environment for all electoral stakeholders, black out hate speech proponents and maintain high professional gate keeping role.”
Mr Ameyibor who is also the GNA Project Coordinator said the: “GNA Tracks Election 2016 Project,” is being funded by the Ghana Oil Company Limited (GOIL), the nation’s foremost indigenous oil marketing company and CIMG 2015 Petroleum Company of the year.
The GNA Tracks Election 2016 project seeks to sensitise the electorate on the various issues raised by political parties, elections management body and other governance institutions. It aims at ensuring gender and social inclusion in national politics and to provide voice for the youth, vulnerable groups, opinion leaders and the broader spectrum of the society, and to contribute to the achievement of peaceful polls.
Another objective of the project is to create a platform to dissect the manifestoes of all political parties and provide in-depth analysis of each thematic area to the electorate to enable them to make an informed judgment.
Mr Ameyibor explained that as part of the GNA Tracks Election 2016 project the Agency has rolled-out electoral reportage enhancement programme to strengthen journalists across the country to keep up with the tenets of media professionalism.
He said GNA/GOIL would use the platform to re-enforce the important role the mass media play in the electoral process which impose particular ethical obligations on the individual journalists, editors and the media owners.
He noted that through the project, journalists would be strengthened to report accurately and without bias, and adhere to the tenets of balance reportage. Mr Patrick Kwame Akpe Akorli, GOIL Managing Director said the support to GNA was the company’s contribution towards a peaceful election.
He noted the need to strengthen and support the media to play their professional role effectively “businesses will only thrive in a peaceful environment”. Mr Akorli who is the CIMG Marketing Man of the Year said GOIL had endeared itself to making every customer's have memorable experiences. “GOIL will deliver quality services with courtesy, sensitivity and minimum.
“GOIL’s philosophy is to continuously improve and provide varieties in terms of its products and service delivery through product differentiation”. The GNA would hold three zonal electoral reportage enhancement workshop at Sunyani, for reporters from Ashanti, Upper East, Upper West, Northern, and Brong Ahafo Regions from November 1 to November 3; hold another in Koforidua for journalists from Central, Eastern and Group one from Greater Accra Regions from November 4 to November 6.
The third workshop is also slated for Koforidua for reporters from Western, Volta, and second group from Greater Accra Regions from November 6 to November 8. Topics to be discussed includes: role of the media in elections: ethics and responsibilities of a news agency reporter; electoral reporting: key elements C.I. 94; and exposure to hidden prejudices, hate speech stereotypes and misconceptions: approaches to a responsible use of content and language.
Other topics are: ethical guidelines on election reporting as spelled out by the National Media Commission; ensuring credible and transparent elections 2016 the role of the police/media; and balance reportage devoid of personal opinions and insults on election processes and activities across the country.