The Tema branch of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA), last Friday organised a one-day seminar for practicing journalists operating within the Tema Metropolitan area, under the theme; "Towards a peaceful election: The role of the Media."
The seminar was to educate journalists on the operations of staff of the Electoral Commission (EC) who would be conducting both the presidential and parliamentary elections on December 7.
The journalists were taken through the processes which voters were likely to encounter at the various voting centers, and what was expected of members of the inky fraternity during the period.
The resource persons were drawn from the Electoral Commission, Ghana Police Service and the Ghana Journalists Association. Nii Adjei Kraku II, Tema Mantse, was the Chairman for the occasion.
Making his presentation, Mr. Gabriel Manu, Tema Metropolitan Electoral Officer, explained that at each voting center, there would be five electoral officers, headed by the presiding officer. Others are names list officer, verification officer, presidential ballot issuer, and the parliamentary ballot issuer.
He, therefore, called on journalists who would visit the various voting centers to do their work and accord the presiding officers all the respect they need in the discharge of the duties.
He explained that the EC was determined to ensure free, fair and transparent elections come December, adding, however, that his outfit needed the support of all, including journalists, to be able to deliver incident-free elections on December 7.
Mr. Affail Monney, vice president of the GJA, cautioned journalists not to do one-sided stories, especially, in their coverage of the upcoming elections, but cross-check their facts again and again, before broadcasting or going to press.
He hinted that the media had a huge role to play as far as this election was concerned, and therefore, called on the media to be factual in their coverage by cross-checking their facts to ensure that they report accurately.
Assistant Supt. of Police (ASP) Olivia Turkson, Public Relations Officer of the Tema Regional Police Command, who represented the Tema Regional Commander, DCOP Maxwell Atingana, took the media through the role of the security services, especially, the police, before, during and after the elections.
She reiterated that the media had the responsibility to provide fair coverage of the upcoming elections, adding journalists must also endeavour to help the police by reporting negative incidences they come across to the police, to help curb them before they escalate.
ASP Olivia Turkson assured residents within the Tema Regional Police Command area of operations of adequate security before, during and after the forthcoming general elections.