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Let’s promote responsible journalism – Boadu-Ayeboafo

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Yaw Boadu-Ayeboafo
Yaw Boadu-Ayeboafo

Journalists have been reminded to adhere strictly to the ethics of the profession in order to promote responsible journalism both at home and abroad.

Mr Yaw Boadu-Ayeboafo, the Director of Newspapers, Graphic Communications Group, who made the call on Monday noted that professional ethics were not adhered to by some journalists thereby subjecting some children and individuals to public ridicule and lowering journalistic standards in the country.

According to him, some journalists in their bid to be the first to break stories, end up ignoring human dignity and respect for rights and freedoms of the public.

“Nobody can stop you from opening your mouth, but you will be held liable for what you say,” he cautioned.

He was speaking at a seminar in Accra, organised by the Institute of Commercial Management (ICM), United Kingdom (UK) and the Ghana Journalist Association (GJA).

The seminar, which brought together 60 journalists, was under the theme: “Media Ethics  in Ghana and Beyond.”

Participants also explored contemporary trends in media practices and challenges posed by the digital divide.

Mr Boadu-Ayeboafo noted that although journalists may have the right to come out with stories and give people the platform to express their views, those rights went along with responsibilities.

According to him in the UK, a court had held that media houses should be held liable even over their website contents.

“We must work within the rules and regulations by weighing the consequences of our actions by checking whether or not that action is in the interest of the larger interest of the society,” he said.

Mr Boadu –Ayeboafo condemned the display of gory pictures of bodies during the June 3, flood and fire disaster on some newspapers saying, “We must learn to respect the dignity of people even when they are dead.”

“Ethical journalism demands fairness, accuracy, competence, retraction, escape from manipulation and the test of bias.”

According to him, baseless character assassinations, invasion of privacy, condemning suspects before they were tried were some of the areas that detracted journalists from practising ethical journalism.

Mr Roland Affail Monney, President of GJA, expressed contentment that the seminar was going to be an eye opener and provide journalists with insightful case studies.
Condemning the display of gory pictures by some media houses, Mr Monney said there was the need for continuous education on professional ethics.

Dr Doris Dartey, a Media Consultant, urged journalists to do away with sensationalism.

Mr Akoto Ampaw, a legal practitioner, told journalists that that the 1992 Constitution had created a paradigm shift in media law because it guaranteed free speech and the rights to information.

Source: GNA

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