Professor Audrey Gadzekpo, the Dean of the School of Information and Communication Studies, University of Ghana, has called on Ghanaians to fully support Investigative Journalism to consolidate the country’s democratic credentials.
“Investigative Journalism takes time, resources, uses documentary, detective tools, research, and tenacity and it behooves on all and sundry to support it with the necessary resources and materials to advance the profession and help check abuse of power by authority,” she said.
Prof. Gadzekpo said this in Accra on Tuesday at the New Year School and Conference on the topic: “Investigative Journalism, Corruption and Sustainable Development”.
She said Investigative Journalism had unraveled striking information, which had contributed immensely to the growth of the country.
Investigative Journalism is very expensive and needs the support of all for holistic work because the work helps to save huge sums of money for the country.
Prof. Gadzepko advocated for a media support fund for investigative work that would save the country lots of money, as a way to encourage more journalists to engage in the field.
She commended Investigative Journalists like Anas Aremeyaw Anas, Seth Boateng and Manasseh Azure Awuni for using their works to impact society positively and saving the country resources for other developmental projects.
Touching on Investigative Journalism and Corruption, Prof. Gadzekpo stated that the works of investigative journalists had led to the cancellation and review of some contracts, the jailing and dismissal of others.
She said the Right to Information Bill, when passed, would give confidence to practitioners in the media to inform the public adequately.
Prof. Gadzekpo said it was necessary for journalists to be protected in their field of work, especially Investigative Journalists, because of the risks involved in the practice of undercover journalism.
She cautioned them to be professional and not compromise their work with bribe and be independent in the discharge of their duties.
She urged journalists to adhere to the tenets of the profession to justify the public confidence in fair and transparent journalism.
“The media has played a significant role in the fight against corruption to achieve consolidated democracy. I urged you to do more of follow-up stories to see to the logical conclusion of national issues”.
Prof. Gadzekpo expressed concern about the partisan nature of some journalists and urged them to be objective in their reportage and advance the frontiers of independent journalism.
She said there was the expectation that the media were best positioned to exact accountability and act as catalysts for national development.