The Chairman of the National Media Commission (NMC), Yaw Boadu-Ayeboafoh, has urged journalists in Ghana to be sincere and factual about their reportage during the December election.
He added that all information must be verified before disclosing them to avoid conflict and misrepresentation.
He mentioned this at the launch of the 2020 edition of the nationwide media engagement dubbed ‘Abusive Language and Hate Speech Monitoring,’ which was held in Accra yesterday.
The event, which was held in collaboration with the Center for Democratic Development (CDD – Ghana), was to help ensure the safety of journalists and also assess how well their work was executed to secure a credible election.
Mr Ayeboafoh urged journalists to ensure fairness and balance in their reportage to avoid conflict.
He indicated that as part of promoting peaceful elections in December, the commission had developed an app to help in media monitoring and incident reporting.
Mr Ayeboafoh explained that the app would help eradicate fake news because of the features it comes with.
“The app comes with a Global Positioning System (GPS) and date stamp, which helps one to verify what has been submitted,” he added.
The Chairman of the NMC also advised journalists to be civil in their choice of language when reporting during the elections.
“Do not be hearers only. I want you to be both listeners and hearers”, he advised.
The Director for Advocacy and Policy Engagement at CDD-Ghana, Mr Kojo Pumpuni Asante, also advised media houses to effectively inform the public in a language they understand while teaching them the electoral procedures, the dos and don’ts and what they should do after the polls were closed.
Mr Asante said “media houses can help curb offensive comments by refusing to empanel people who use their platforms to incite and provoke conflict.”
He added that 20 media monitors had been trained to observe political party communications on current affairs, political discussion programmes, newspaper reviews on selected radio stations across the country.
“We hope that this collaborative intervention will specifically contribute to the reduction of abusive language and other indecent expressions during the elections and beyond to promote peace and ensure decorum on media platforms,” he added.