The President of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA), Mr Roland Affail Monney, has challenged senior media practitioners to professionally play their role as gatekeepers as campaigns towards the December 2020 general election gather momentum.
"This is the time for us to display our professionalism as senior practioners and editors to prevent the country from degenerating into chaos," he stated, adding that
"we cannot fail in the performance of this sacred role".
Mr Monney, who was addressing of forum of selected senior journalists of some media houses in Sunyani last Wednesday, observed that since the stakes in this year's election were high, journalists had to be fair and balanced in their coverage of the electioneering.
The Editors Forum on Peace and Security Sensitive Reporting is part of the GJA's Election 2020 Project dubbed: "No to political vigilantism and electoral violence in Ghana."
The 14-month project is a collaboration between the GJA and STAR-Ghana Foundation.
It is aimed at contributing to the national discourse on disbanding political vigilantism and eliminating electoral violence in addition to enhancing the capabilities of journalists in conflict-sensitive reporting given the media's role as one of the gatekeepers in election management and reportage.
Mr Monney (extreme right) poses with some participants in the forum
Mr Monney bemoaned the degeneration of journalism in the country into what he called "standardless profession", in which half-baked journalists disregarded the tenets of the profession in their quest to satisfy particular political parties.
"Journalism in the country is degenerating into a standardless profession. This is very bad, this is dangerous and editors have to wake up to save the country from political violence as a result of bad media reportage," he stated.
For her part, a member of the GJA Project Unit, Ms Rebecca Ekpe, said the association would soon resume its regular platform dubbed "We the People", where election stakeholders such as the police, members of the Ghana Bar Association and journalists would be given the opportunity to discuss critical election issues.
The Bono Regional Commander of the Motor Traffic and Transport Department of the Ghana Police Service, Superintendent Stephen Tenkorang, said even though it was the responsibility of the security services to provide security to ensure peaceful elections, they could not achieve their goals without the involvement of the media.
He called on the media to exhibit a high sense of professionalism, adding that editors had to constantly monitor their reporters to ensure their neutrality.