Kabral Blay Amihere
Kabral Blay Amihere

Accra , May 03, GNA – Mr. Kabral Blay Amihere, Chairman of the National Media Commission (NMC), has bemoaned the use of inflammatory speech, insults and abuse in the media saying the dangers of a poisoned media go beyond human comprehension.

He was among speakers at the 2012 World Press Freedom Day who expressed grave concerns about the volatile media scene and asked journalists to tread cautiously in the course of duty and not create unnecessary tension that could trigger deadly violence.

It was on the theme, “Media Freedom has Power to Transform Societies”.

Mr. Amihere said the NMC had done much in its 19 years to protect media freedoms and promoted media standards given it limited capacity and that if the NMC has not been able to flex its muscles, it was because it was working under the tenets of the Constitution of the land.

He called for the passage of the Broadcasting bill to provide the best opportunity and framework for regulating the media landscape, particularly the broadcasting sector.

Mr James Agyenim Boateng, a Deputy Minister of Information, said government would work assiduously to encourage Parliament to pass the Right to Information and the Broadcasting bills by the end of the month.

Mr Kofi Asamoah, Secretary General of the Trade Union Congress, urged the media to live up to expectation and report accurately.

He drew attention to poor salaries and conditions of service, especially for those in the private media sector and commended the Ghana Journalists Association for initiating the unionization of it member and added that it would give all the necessary support to make it a reality.

UN Resident Coordinator, Ruby Sanhu-Rojaon, said the freedom of the Press was not absolute but an obligation to serve the broader public and ensure confidence in the institution of the media.

“For too many journalists, editors and media owners in many countries, there are too many manifestations of partisanship, unprofessionalism and sensationalism-potentially deadly effect. A perverse media disturbs social relations in countries where tension may already exist, potentially triggering deadly violence”, she said.

She noted that “if rights come with responsibilities, we have a collective duty to ensure those responsibilities are met and that the media does not end up magnifying and igniting conflicts”

According to her, journalists have the role and responsibility to provide choices that do not incite hate, bigotry and violence and noted the Un was willing to support, through funding from the UNDP, the strengthening of media capacity to report professionally on election and comply with media code of ethics

Ms Adjoba Kyaimah, Corporate and Legal Affairs Director of the Accra Brewery Limited (ABL), sponsors of the Press Freedom Day celebration, presented a cheque for GHc 10,000 in support of the beautification works to be carried out at the Press Centre as part of preparation towards the 2012 election coverage.

She said ABL believes in Press freedom and freedom of expression and also believes that these human rights when applied responsibly, promote dialogue, healthy debate and consensus building which are critical to peaceful development.

GNA

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