The Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) has urged the media to be cautious in their reportage of the conflict between the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II and the Dormaahene, Osagyefo Agyeman Badu II.
“It is needless to state that the hyper-sensitive issue involving the two prominent chiefs can result in a conflict of unthinkable proportion if it is not handled with the highest degree of circumspection, especially by the media.
“The sensational tilt and explosive angles which have characterised the coverage of the verbal exchanges should, therefore, give way to conflict sensitive reporting which allows tempers to cool down, and the issue to be contained or resolved in the long run,” it said.
This was contained in a statement signed and issued by the GJA President, Affail Monney, in Accra yesterday and copied to the Ghanaian Times.
The two traditional leaders are reportedly in disagreement over historical narratives about the supremacy of their respective areas and the paying of allegiance to Asanteman and the golden stool.
The matter has received wide publicity in some traditional areas and on social media, especially online portals, attracting divergent reaction and opinions by a section of the public, particularly those who hail from the two areas.
But, according to the GJA, media editors and social media activists should play the gatekeeping role effectively to ensure that the information they churn out is wholesome.
“The GJA particularly wants traditional media editors and social media activists to filter any pronouncements from the two chiefs through a very tight weave of journalistic responsibility and gatekeeping.
“In other words, they should think through the consequences or weigh fully the implications of anything they put out on the matter. This is to ensure that the public is fed with ethically wholesome and culturally edifying information which will not escalate the tension nor compromise the peace and security in the two traditional areas, and by extension the entire nation,” it said.
The statement urged the media to be part of the solution and not part of what it described as a chieftaincy clash of staggering magnitude.