Use rule of law to address media excesses — PRINPAG President

Edwin Arthur – PRINPAG President

Mr Andrews Edwin Arthur, President of the Private Newspaper Publishers Association of Ghana (PRINPAG), has urged the public to use the law to address grievances against the media.

His comments come on the back of recent attacks and directives to some journalists and media houses, particularly from traditional authorities which sought to suspend operations of those media houses.

Speaking at the swearing-in ceremony of the newly elected executives of the PRINPAG, in Accra, on Tuesday, Mr Arthur said such attacks were an affront to Ghana’s freedom of speech.

He noted that as any other human institution, the media were prone to mistakes and excesses, however, the use of basic tenets of the rule of law must be resorted to, to express one’s’ disapproval.

“It is said that a bad press is better than none at all and as a human institution, the media are prone to errors and excesses but when that happens, we should express our disapproval using the basic tenets of the rule of law to deal with the situation,” he urged.

The national executives led by Mr Arthur as the President, also has Mr Michael Antwi-Agyei, Vice-President, Mr Emmanuel Opare-Djan, National Organiser and Mr Jeorge Wilson Kingson, Public Relations Officer.

Mr Arthur also bemoaned what he called “reckless and unprofessional” conduct of some media practitioners in the discharge of their mandate which he acknowledged was preventing the media from asserting its influence and in particular, dwindling patronage of newspapers.

He, therefore, entreated them to be disciplined and circumspect in the discharge of their mandate.

“We urge all our members to always endeavour to exhibit high professional duty and strict adherence to high journalistic standards of balance, fairness and accuracy, among others,” he said.

Mr Arthur, while appreciating the task ahead, expressed the newly elected executives’ resolve and readiness to serve the Association for the betterment of all members.

He disclosed that plans were far advance to intensify engagement with some state institutions, including the National Petroleum Authority, National Lottery Authority and COCOBOD to ensure fair distribution of adverts for its members.

“In this second term, we will focus on business development of our members as well as securing scholarships and fellowship programmes for them to help build their professional capacity and to also enhance their knowledge-base,” he said.

Mr Yaw-Boadu Ayeboafoh, Chairman, National Media Commission, encouraged the newly elected executives to eschew all forms of animosity and forge ahead with unity to better the welfare of all.

“If you are going to consider only those who voted for you then you are going to fail,” he warned.

Mr Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, the Minister of Information, while congratulating the new leadership, reminded them of the enormous task ahead.

He encouraged journalists to keep up the good work and continue to adhere to the ethics of the profession.

Mr Albert Dwumfour, President of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA), urged the media to continue to hold public institutions accountable to deepen the country’s democracy.

“The GJA will collaborate with PRINPAG to train journalists in the country to adapt to changing phases of journalism and communication. This will ensure fact-based journalism which will help the country develop,” he said.

Source: GNA

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