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Sunyani: GJA sensitizes editors on Conflict Sensitive Reporting ahead of December 7 polls

The Bono Regional Commander of the Police MTTD,  Superintendent Stephen Tenkorang, says the nation looks up to the media to uphold professional standards to ensure a peaceful Election 2020.

He said the Police and other security services have the capacity and are determined to create a peaceful atmosphere for the smooth conduct of the Election, devoid of intimidation and hooliganism.

Superintendent Tenkorang however expressed the fear that unprofessionalism has the potential to heighten tensions, and cause election-related violence.

He said this in an interaction with selected news Editors at a forum held at Abesim, in Sunyani, in the Bono Region.

The Forum is part of a GJA Election 2020 project with support from the STAR-GHANA Foundation.

The Ghana Journalists Association organized the forum, as part of a 14-month project being implemented with support from STAR-Ghana  Foundation.

The project aims at contributing to the national discourse on disbanding political vigilantism and eliminating electoral violence in Ghana. It further seeks to enhance the capacity of the media in conflict-sensitive reporting, given its crucial role as one of the key gatekeepers in election management and reportage in Ghana.

A member of the GJA Project Management Unit, Rebecca Ekpe, said the association with support from STAR-GHANA Foundation, will soon resume its regular platform dubbed, “We the People”, where election stakeholders such as the police, members of the Ghana Bar Association and journalists will be given the opportunity to discuss critical election issues.

Supt. Tenkorang said election violence is unacceptable and the existing Police-media relationship should be strengthened to help easily identify and tackle once and for all factors that contribute to election-related violence.

He indicated that the Bono Region had no election hotspots, but few flashpoints have been identified, and the Police will need media collaboration to ensure that tensions are not heightened in flashpoints at the heat of the electioneering.

He appealed to the leadership of the GJA to help flush out miscreants and unprofessional media practitioners who have invaded the media fraternity and are soiling the image of the profession.

President of the GJA, Roland Affail Monney agreed with the Police that some journalists are going beyond bounds in their profession, especially in election reportage.

He said capacity building is one area the Association is focusing on to keep the standards.

Mr. Monney reminded journalists they have a professional, ethical, and a godly responsibility to save Ghana from nation wreckers.

The Deputy Director of  Public Health at the Bono Regional Health Directorate,  Dr. John Ekow Otoo, commended the GJA and the media in general for their collaboration with the Ghana Health Service in disseminating information to curtail the spread of COVID-19 in the region.

He also reminded journalists of the added responsibility of communicating safety protocols especially as the country goes to the polls December seven.

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