Tuesday, May 1, 2018

GJA Starts Press Freedom Day Celebration

11:27:00 PM

The Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) has held a symposium as part of activities marking the International Press Freedom Day in Ghana

The symposium themed: Assessing press freedom in Ghana Ssarch for Democracy: Lessons learned and the way forward, brought together owners of media houses, regulators, practitioners and the public to deliberate on the subject matter.

Kwesi Gyan-Apenteng, Chairman of the National Media Commission, who made a presentation on the topic, said the media in Ghana have come a long way in the fight for a free press.

He noted that the fight has been fruitful since the Ghanaian media can be considered as free.

He, however, observed that the media are not independent because of the influence of players in the industry.

Mr Gyan-Apenteng called for the deepening of freedom and independence of the media by industry players through the adherence to the tenets of the constitution that guarantees the freedom and independence of the press.

Dr Anthony Bonnan Koomson, former acting Vice Chancellor of the Catholic University, in his presentation, said lawsuits and some professional decisions hinder the independence of the media.

He, however, noted that the greatest threat to the freedom and independence of the media is the ‘mindlessness of the power that journalists have.

Mavis Kitcher, editor of the Junior Graphic, attributed the proliferation of media organizations in Ghana to the lack of enforcement power given to regulators like the National Media Commission (NMC).

She noted that the passage of the Right to Information Bill is crucial to the furtherance of a truly independent media that can meet international standards.

Cameron Doudo, journalist, educator and novelist, charged journalists to hold public officials accountable for their actions.

Mr Doudo said notwithstanding challenges, journalists must be ready to travel the difficult and hard road.

World Press Freedom Day

UNESCO will lead the 25th celebration of World Press Freedom Day that is being held in collaboration with the Government of Ghana from 2â€"3 May, 2018.

This years global event themed, ‘Keeping Power in Check: Media, Justice and The Rule of Law, would focus on transparency of the political process, independence and media literacy of the judicial system and the accountability of state institutions towards the public.

It would be used to examine contemporary challenges associated with press freedom online.

UNESCO Country Director, Tirso Dos Santos, in his remarks, said Ghana was chosen to host the event due to its achievements in the media.

He said a few days ago, the country was ranked 26th in the world for press freedom, but a new report by the Reporters without borders on press freedom placed Ghana at 23 in the world.

He was hopeful the lessons learnt would be showcased to the world during the event.

Dr Affail Money, GJA President, said owing to the World Press Freedom Day celebration, which is being held in Ghana for the first time, several activities have lined up to showcase the country to the world.

He said the GJA, in partnership with UNESCO, would host foreign media at the press center.

The GJA President said the Vice President Dr Alhaji Mahamudu Bawumia would be the main speaker at the event to be held at the International Conference Centre.

He also entreated the media to fully participate in the historic activities.

By Ghana Leaks Blog

Written by

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