Media is too powerful to be left with untrained – Chief of Staff
Mr Prosper Douglas Bani, Chief of Staff, Office of the President has urged the media to maintain high ethical standards since it is a vital organ for nurturing peace and stability for national development.
He said journalists as professionals have a responsibility to safeguard the peace “by applying moral compass to factors, which unite us rather than the pursuance of divisive tendencies”.
Mr Bani said this on Saturday, at the seventh congregation of Ghana Institute of Journalism for diploma and first batch of degree students on the attainment of autonomy.
“The infractions that flowed from the election petition should avert our minds to the need for communication professionals to imbibe the ethical principles which undergird their vocation,” he said.
He implored media owners to show more respect for professional journalism and make good use of the products from the school.
Mr Bani said there is a creeping phenomenon that assumes that anybody could practice journalism without any training, saying this emerging culture would not augur well for the nation.
“The media is too powerful a tool to be left in the hands of the untrained. We cannot downplay this point if we are to keep the cohesion and survival of the nation.”
He said reports of huge damages in defamation awarded against some media houses by courts could have largely been avoided if trained and professional journalists had been allowed to bring their knowledge of the ethics to bear.
Mr David Newton, Rector of the Institute said the media would continue to contribute towards building a new democratic culture based on tolerance, trust and respect for one another.
He called on the media to encourage frank and open discussion of national issues devoid of partisan politics for peace building and national development.
He said 12 years of successful implementation of degree programmes; the National Accreditation Board had approved four masters’ programmes for the institute to run from September 2014.
The programmes are Master of Arts in Journalism, Public Relations, Media Management and Development Communication.
He appealed to the Chief of Staff and the Minister of Education to press upon Ghana Education Trust Fund to release funds for the completion of a four-storey complex at the institute’s new site.
The institute conferred diploma and degree on 404 students who had successfully completed their programmes in communication studies in June 2013. There were 185 diploma and 179 degree students.