Kumasi, Aug 03, GNA – Professor Kwame Karikari, former Executive Director of Media Foundation for West Africa (MfWA), has called for the media to regulate itself to avoid infractions that could force external intervention in its operations.
He warned that the situation where the courts or any other external force would get the opportunity to come in to direct what should be done could have serious consequences for free expression and the independence of the media.
He was speaking at a workshop held for political party communicators and media practitioners in Kumasi.
It was organized by the MfWA to provide insight into “Issues not insults” campaign and present the language monitoring instrument of the “Promoting decent language and issues-based campaigning for peaceful elections in Ghana in 2016” project.
Prof. Karikari made reference to the recent pronouncements by the Supreme Court on the “Montie FM contempt case” and said that was a wake-up call to media organizations and journalists to sit up – to do self-introspection.
He expressed worry about the continued delay in the passage of the draft broadcasting bill and asked that the media ratchet-up pressure on the state to get it quickly passed.
That, he indicated, would pave way for standardized broadcasting in Ghana.
He reminded radio and television station owners that it was in their own interest to develop appropriate editorial policies and guidelines for their employees to make sure that things were done properly.
Prof. Karikari warned the media against allowing itself to be used or abused by politicians in pursuit of any self-serving agenda.
It should rather work to promote the unity of the people and the sustenance of the nation’s peace.
He noted that Ghanaians were confronted with myriad of socio-economic development challenges and asked that the party communicators told the people how they were going to address these.
They should not use the media platform to insult people whose political opinions were different from what they held and to threaten mayhem.
Mr. Kwasi Gyan Apenteng, Chairman of the National Media Commission (NMC), said the Commission together with its partners and other organizations interested in the growth of the media, had taken measures to ensure that the media was not misused to plunge the country into chaos.
Mr Sulemana Braimah, Executive Director of MfWA, said the language monitoring project was to discourage the use of hate language and abuse of political opponents on the airwaves in the run-up to the general election.