Is press freedom a sickening situation nowadays in Ghana?

Is the constant harassment of journalists under this regime the commission of these journalists, what seemed the underscoring facts which are cognizant with undermining press freedom or the The Media Commission mandated to preserve, protect and defend the sanctity of the profession is at sleep?

Also, are these journalists their own nemesis?

Let us discuss dispassionately the issues of brutalities on journalists and how they also expected to discharging their work without bringing the repute of this noble profession into disrepute.

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The derivatives of democracy are peace, tolerance, unity and peaceful coexistence among the citizens of a country.
Irrespective of which political party is in power, Ghanaians are supposed to see themselves as one clothed with red, yellow, green and black. In other words, it is incumbent on citizens of Ghana to protect, preserve, defend and uphold the sanctity of the national colors in high esteem, and also the supremacy of the 1992 constitution.

As Ghanaians, we are well-informed about the need of an effective and a robust democratic practice and how beneficial is to socioeconomic development of Ghana. That is , Ghanaians are supposed to uphold in their collective course the sanity of fair democratic practice. Thus, free, fair and transparent electoral system.

This, without ambiguity have been fortified and entrenched in the constitution of Ghana. Which is one of the reasons as a people, we must to collectively and overwhelmingly endorse democratic leadership. Where the only means possible, is to conduct elections to elect a President and parliamentarians for a term in every four year period.

Without qualms, military leadership, which arises from revolution or coup, which once brought most countries to their knees in Africa, has no any given space to operate.
As you’re aware, coups and revolutions have led to mass killings of people, lost of properties and various degrees of injuries on innocent people and disabilities among the vulnerable, including women and children.

Therefore, the primary responsibility of citizens of Ghana, is to defend with fortitude, even at a point of the last drop of our blood this constitutional provision which made it possible for the conduct of elections for the office of the president and MPs. Also, in Ministries, Departments, and Agencies and importantly Metropolitan, Municipal and district assemblies to ensure democratic development. Thus, to make it more meaningful for leaders to be chosen through only democratic means rather than coup or revolution.

To this far, democracy transcends just the conduct of peaceful elections and transitions; that is, with complete independence of the judiciary, the executive, the legislature and by extension, the media.

The media is responsible for the dissemination of accurate and reliable information to the citizens to keep them up to date on national issues, especially those of social, religious, political, institutional, and economic affairs.

Importantly, which mandates journalists to a freedom of practice and the right to disseminate accurate and reliable information to the citizens of Ghana.

In fact, the independence of the media is an important element in projecting freedom of speech and also propelling accountability in the public sector to ensure the protection of the public purse.

Additionally, without any scintilla of doubt, such rights of journalists which give them this mandate must not be screwed up, but should be conducted in manners which are civil and professional. Thus, journalists must be very reliable, accurate, and decorous as per the ethics of their profession. And not to become agents of thieves.

Media sensationalism and yellow journalism are some of the unethical conducts journalists should eschew in the conduct of journalism. These, place journalism on a distasteful look in the eyes of people when such acts have become pervasive without any control.

For this reason, these unethical practices should not be given the minutest time and space to prevail in this country. They’re affront and inimical to democratic practice.

And indeed, if leaders really wish to have a country which is described as a beacon of democracy in Africa, it is therefore needful to guarantee media independence but strict compliance by journalists to stick to the principles of the profession.

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Simply put, anything or action which serves as an impediment in the advancement of good governance must be shunned and discouraged without hesitation. And journalists must be the drivers of this. Not when some of them are seriously defending rot in the system or being involved by themselves in rot. That shouldn’t be a type of country we’re building.

Moreover, any utterances or interference that rather questioned the sanctity of our courts and judges presiding over cases must be condemned unconditionally. Or better still accompanied by stiffer punishment to perpetrators to serve as a deterrent to others who are likely to use journalists wrongly for their selfish gains.

Ghana is all that we have. Let us not allow stomach journalists to rock this peaceful sailing boat like they did to Rwanda.

In today’s society, Journalism is a profession which is losing its credibility. One such profession which is under close scrutiny has a deep impact on the audience and reporters.

The sensationalism of news is that part of Journalism where a reporter/journalist faces a serious conventional dilemma of reporting objectively and reporting what sells, because sensationalism is all about creating what sells to profit! It has got to do more with a strategist plan of profit making rather than accurate information generation to the people. Sensationalism still remains a strong force in today’s media society in Ghana.

This type of media sensationalism takes various forms of picture tabloid magazines, celebrity journalism, or the violence infested media known as television and movies. But the bare fact which remains true till date is the fact that it sells. There will be a constant and uninterrupted supply if such unethical journalism is encouraged and their market is flourished.

Many journalists who are the conduit between the senders(politicians) and voters(receivers) sometimes distort messages to sabotage some politicians or political parties. They do this to favor the political parties they are probably in bed with. This is because, most of the media outlets are owned by politicians to push their political agendas.

Additionally, some journalists have political parties they belong to, hence, they most often compromised professionalism in the bid for their favorite parties or government. That is how comes, sometimes some ace journalists in this country always speak for or against certain political parties or governments. These journalists have pay masters that they use their privileges as frontiers of information dissemination to defend.

Unfortunately, some journalists are bribed to bury cases of corrupt practices by government officials. Some bribery and corrupt cases are not heard or projected because those who are supposed to expose them are either surrogates of offenders or have taken bribes from offenders to bury these matters.

More so, many of these media houses are owned and controlled by some politicians. And so, how do you expect fairness and honesty from journalists in these media houses, after being employed to defend their rot?

Sadly, it is now a lucrative business to journalists to defend corrupt government officials just so that, they can also have appointments and contracts. These are an absurd practices which must be checked. For, many journalists in this country are denigrating the the profession in a crescendo.

Unfortunately, it almost looks as if the government is advancing an agenda to cowing journalists who speak the ills of this administration in a perpetual silence. I see this as an affront to press freedom and also inimical to the constitution of Ghana. Press freedom should not only been seen a conduit to holding officials of a State for accountability, but must be seen as a fulcrum of good democratic practice.

As a matter of fact, this government is in alacrity bringing the reputation of journalism into disrepute by its officials intolerant behaviors toward journalists.

By Abukari Majeed

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