Mr Abdallah Kassim, Executive Director of Rural Media Network, a non-governmental organisation, has called on journalists to be peace ambassadors by using their pens and voices to prevent conflicts and ensure the security of the State.
He said the media played an important role in the process of peace-building and were therefore partners in promoting the culture of peace and non-violence, adding that “what ever a journalist does has an effect on the society and influences people’s behaviour”.
Mr Kassim was addressing journalists in Tamale on Thursday at a day’s workshop for participants drawn from the Northern, Upper East and Upper West Regions, with the objective of exploring early warning and conflict transformation in peace reporting.
“Peace journalism strives on reflecting on the world more accurately; focusing on root causes of issues and problems, contextualising conflicts and reporting professionally…identifying all actors in a conflict, understanding their interest and needs and investigating into the root causes of conflicts,” he said.
He said the power of the media required journalists to think ahead of how their reporting could influence the dynamics of a conflict, create new conflicts or stir up the outbreak of violence.
Mr Kassim who also a journalist, observed that most times, journalists do more of war journalism than peace journalism, which dwelt on the details of death and destructions wrought by bombs.
Mr Justin Bayor, Co-ordinator of Ghana Network for Peace building (GHANEP) said conflict was a reality of life, which existed at all levels of the society distinguishing that some conflicts were latent while others were manifest.
He called on peace makers and conflict mediators to do more at preventing, managing and negotiating for peace across the globe.
Mr Albert Yelyang, an official of GHANEP also urged journalists to choose their words carefully when writing on conflicts to avoid minor disagreements from escalating.
He noted that journalists were social actors and could help in managing conflicts through the use of early warning signals.