The Chief Justice, Kwasi Anin-Yeboah, has alluded to the strict Covid-19 protocols to charge the media to ensure that national cohesion is not endangered before, during and after the December 7 general elections.
According to him, the role the media played in the peak of the coronavirus cannot go unnoticed.
To him, the media ensured that the citizenry received accurate information to lessen the fear and panic that preceded the outbreak of the deadly disease.
“The lesson from this is that we can unite for a common purpose in fighting a common non-discriminatory enemy particularly in an election year when the citizens of our country will be called upon to exercise a crucial civic duty in the choice of our leaders,” he said in a speech read on his behalf by another justice of the Supreme Court, Justice Amadu Tanko, at the 25th Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) Awards.
The event was held at the Movenpick Ambassador Hotel in Accra on Saturday, October 24.
Multimedia’s Samson Lardi Anyenini was adjudged the Journalist of the Year with Media General also bagging awards including the Best Television Station in English for subsidiary firm TV3. Seven journalists from the media conglomerate picked awards.
In his speech as the Guest Speaker, the Chief Justice admonished the media not to be sensational in their reportage ahead of the general elections.
“This is a period in which your heightened political antenna can pick up insignificant signals and blow them out of proportion to excite partisan groups against their opponents.
“I call on the media to ensure that this attitude must not be followed during the countdown to our general elections and thereafter.”
He said the sterling performance of the inky fraternity during the height of the pandemic must guide the coverage of the upcoming elections.
“What we have learnt from the experience of the pandemic, which is still confronting the world, is that we are collectively bound in a way that matters of politics, religion, material wealth, and status cannot provide immunity from the common unseen enemy.
“The same is true of political strife. When we seek to divide and deceive for political gain, what we are doing is endangering our national cohesion as a people with a common destiny.
Justice Anin-Yeboah, therefore, used the Covid-19 protocols to drum home his point.
“I wish to take this opportunity to call for enhanced media hygiene in this election season.
“Let us lock down sensationalism, let us distance ourselves from misreporting and let us sanitise our pages and airwaves from abusive language and at all times wear our masks of patriotism and responsibility.”
By Emmanuel Kwame Amoh|3news.com|Ghana