Media consultant, Dr Bonnah Koomson has said coverage of elections is a national duty that places a high sense of responsibility on journalists in consolidating Ghana’s democracy.
He said, as the only non-state actor enjoined by the 1992 constitution to hold the government accountable to the people, journalists are therefore expected to be responsible, objective, independent, accurate, ethical and truthful in their reportage.
Dr. Bonnah Koomson said this in Tamale at a Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) and Electoral Commission (EC) training for the media on elections reporting.
It was aimed at sensitizing the participants on electoral laws and good ethical reporting to empower them to report accurately on the forthcoming December 7, Presidential and Parliamentary Elections. About 40 participants from the electronic and print media from five regions of the north took part in the training.
The media consultant and trainer, Dr. Koomson, making reference to the GJA guidelines on election coverage stated that it is important for journalists to shield their political affiliation when undertaking their roles.
The Northenr Regional Director of the Electoral Commission, Lucas Yiriyung, who took the participants through the electoral laws and the EC’s preparations so far, encouraged the media to abreast itself with the conduct of elections so that they can help the voter with education on the process.
He said the public should check for validation stamp at the back of their ballot papers and those without Identity cards yet, with their names on the electoral roll can still vote at their polling stations. Mr. Yiriyung had some caution for the media regarding election monitors and observers.
The national vice chair of the Ghana Journalists Association, Mrs. Linda Asante Adjei, earlier reminded the media about the need to be responsible in their reportage by not inflaming passions. She also said in an era of growing fake news, journalist owe it a responsibility to fact check all their sources.