Ghanaians urged to tackle uncontrolled political vigilantism in the media space

Reverend Father Professor Peter Nkrumah Amponsah, the Dean of Graduate Studies of the Catholic University College of Ghana (CUCG) at the weekend, expressed disgust about ‘needless abuse of the Ghanaian media, thereby, threatening the nation’s press freedom.

Describing the situation as a ‘digital form of political vigilantism’, Prof Amponsah, a Catholic Priest, regretted the Ghanaian media space was currently unhealthy, polluted with outright lies, and deception, which remained an affront to press freedom guaranteed by the 1992 constitution.

In an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) at the University’s campus at Fiapre in the Sunyani West Municipality, the Catholic Priest bemoaned the uncontrolled verbal attacks and assaults in the nation’s media environment which dirtied the beauty of press freedom.

He expressed regret to framers of the Vigilantism and Related Offences Act (999), 2019, which outlawed the formation of political party vigilante groups, acts of vigilantism in the country did not give space to tackle ‘digitized vigilantism’ in the media environment.

This, Rev. Fr. Prof. Nkrumah, also a communication expert, indicated had paved the way, and provided a conspicuous platform for political parties and their followers, thereby, leveraging on the nation’s limited media resources and frequencies for ‘all sorts of digitized vigilantism’.

“It’s better we try as much as possible to maximise the use of our limited media resources and frequencies for the purposes of development, instead of peddling outright lies and deception particularly, in the digital media space”, he advised.

Rev. Fr. Prof. Amponsah expressed discomfort that the Ghanaian media had gradually swayed from its agenda-setting role, and allowed political parties to set the pace for discourses, unhealthy for the nation’s development.

He emphasised the 1992 Constitution placed responsibility on the media to remain neutral and check successive governments against abuse of political power as well as put a spotlight on the nation’s development agenda.

Rev. Fr. Prof. Amponsah said he was hopeful the media re-focus, adhere to high ethical standards and professionalism, highlight development, and promote peace and social cohesion, which were ingredients required to facilitate accelerated national growth and development.

Source: GNA

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