HO, Volta Region – Mr Roland Affail Monney, the outgoing President of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) has said the arrest of journalists “can trigger a precipitous drop in our ranking on the Press Freedom Index in Africa, where we are currently third, down from first a few years ago, and 30th in the world, a decline from the 27th position.”
He acceded that the use of coercive force to arrest journalists and prosecutorial power to punish them may be rooted in law, but this approach is palpably corrosive to Ghana's image and standard measure of press freedom in Africa.
“The professional sins of journalists, no matter how grievous, should not justify the blatant violation of their human dignity in the process of affecting their arrest,” he said.
Mr Monney said these at the 25th milestone of Volta Premier FM Station, a campus radio of the Ho Technical University.
It was under the theme, “Campus Radio as a Learning Resource for Higher Education in Ghana.”
He acknowledged that the constitution provided a non-criminal or civil avenue for dealing with the use of free speech that infringes on the rights of others.
“This is the way to go in response to the growing cases of arrest and prosecution of journalists,” reminding all and sundry that Article 14 of the 1992 Constitution states “that the dignity of all persons shall be inviolable.”
The outgoing President condemned vehemently the high-handed manner journos are arrested, urging everyone not to fall easy prey to these unfortunate incidents.
“The practice of journalism in its rawest form must stop. And the mercenary pursuit of agendas far remote from journalism must cease,” he added.
He identified as real, poverty in the media, a causal nexus in between flip-flop poverty and ineffective performance that needed to be holistically addressed as an issue of critical national importance, given the indispensable role of the media in our democratic upsurge, an economic upswing, social uplift, and developmental upgrade.
Mr Monney commended Volta Premier (VP) FM for exhibiting a prominent level of professionalism and adherence to the ethics of the profession in the discharge of their duties.
Leave a Reply