Director of Public Affairs at the Ghana Police Service, ACP David Eklu has advised journalists to move away from just holding discussions on assault on journalists, and ensure these issues are reported to the appropriate authorities.
According to ACP Eklu, there are many instances in which journalists either do not officially report cases of assault or fail to cross check with the police on progress made on some of the reported cases.
ACP Eklu made this point at a Media General forum under the theme, “The State of Media Freedom in Ghana: A Critical Look at Contemporary Journalism, Public Interest and Security of State” on Tuesday.
He made reference to an instance in which a media house accused the police of not prosecuting 40 cases of assault on journalists, but failed to tell the specific cases, and whether or not the journalists involved lodged a complaint to the police officially.
According to him, assault cases are dealt with by the police and other law enforcement agencies, and therefore challenged the media to liaise with authorities to ensure things are done properly.
“Journalists, like any other person in this country, are entitled to be under the security of the police. The complaints of a journalist can’t be solved by radio discussions. It can be done only through the court.”
Lack of knowledge
ACP Eklu also said some journalists are not abreast with security protocol, and as a result, they err in their reports on security issues.
“Does a journalist understand public order protocol & management? Does a journalist understand the ranking orders of the service? There is misunderstanding between the media and security protocol,” he said.
He said the absence of proper communication from the media sometimes leads to misinformation that portrays the police in a bad light.
“There was a recent viral story of a driver and mate being assaulted by the police. A radio station assembled 5 executives and went on air to abuse the police.”
ACP Eklu however stated that the police service will liaise with media houses to train journalists on security reportage to avoid certain errors.
“If a journalist is trained on how to report crime and security, it will reduce conflicts and then we can have a platform where the discharge of Ghana Police services will be improved.
“We also need special crime and security desks for journalists so that reportage will be great, and it will further enhance Police-Media relations,” ACP Eklu stressed.
By Irene Amesimeku|3news.com|Ghana