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Ghanaian broadcasters launch code of conduct for election 2012

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Most Reverend Charles Palmer-Buckle, the Metropolitan Archbishop of the Catholic Archdiocese of Accra, has appealed to media practitioners to be circumspect and professional in their reportage before, during and after the December polls.

Bishop Palmer-Buckle said some media houses have made it their trade mark to report only negative things instead of focusing on the positive news which contributed to the development of society.

He said this on Tuesday in Accra at the launch of the Ghana Independent Broadcasters Association (GIBA) Code of Conduct for Election 2012 under the theme: “Responsible Reportage for Ghana Election 2012”.

The code of conduct was funded by STAR-Ghana.

The code comprises 18 articles which include planning, professionalism, monitoring and evaluation, party broadcast, objectionable broadcast material, bribery and corruption and the right to reply.

Some of the articles are opinion polls, editorial independence, hate, incitement and insulting speech, encourage free speech, voter registration, cooperation with electoral commission and cross check allegations of malpractices.

The rest of the articles are reporting trends and calling elections, good conduct commitment by political talk show panellists, election related reports, and non compliance and sanctions.

The Most Rev Palmer-Buckle said the code enjoined media practitioners to differentiate between good and bad journalism and help promote genuine media in support of the country’s democracy.

He said the media landscape is characterized by intemperate language and admonished Ghanaians to pray for peace and beyond the impending general elections.

Most Rev Palmer-Buckle advised the media and all stakeholders to be mindful of their utterances and further advised the media to play their gate-keeping role effectively.

Mrs Dorcas Ansah, Results and Communication Manager of Star-Ghana, said elections are central to the promotion of democracy and that the media has a role to play in informing and educating the citizens at each stage of the electoral process.

Mrs Ansah stressed that the media must play its role in relaying and amplifying the aspirations and concerns of the people to ensure citizen’s ownership and participation in the process.

She said the media is most effective and contributed in promoting democracy when it is guided by professionalism and responsible practices.

Mrs Ansah noted that the media must commit to ensuring that elections are transparent, peaceful, free and fair by delivering thorough, verified and unbiased information and refrain from messages that will incite violence.

Chief Paul A. Crystal-Djirackor, President of GIBA, said the code would give assurances of holding high regime of self-regulation and bring errant members to order.

“As broadcasters who are aware of our responsibilities as the nation’s gate-keepers, adherence to this code will aid the performance of our duties as required so that our good works will ensure a successful electioneering process,” he said.

Source: GNA

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