Cape Coast — The Rector of the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA), Prof. Philip Ebow Bondzi-Simpson has cautioned journalists to refrain from unprofessional and irresponsible conducts in the discharge of their duties.
He said "It is not necessary to invite litigation or opprobrium to self."
The Rector indicated that, professionalism, ethics and merit should be the guiding principles among journalists and media practitioners in the country.
Prof. Bondzi-Simpson was speaking at the maiden Central Region Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) awards ceremony held at the weekend.
It was on the theme "The economic transformation of the Central Region media's stake in attracting investors."
A total of 20 awards were given to individuals who have contributed towards the development of the region.
Six retired media personnel comprising Mr Joe Okyere formerly of the Daily Graphic, Mr Yaw Afari-Darko and Mr Ebo Sackey both from the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation, J.S Annan of the Ghana News Agency, Mr Samuel S. Annobil and Mr Paul Adjetey-Dsane.
Prof. Bondzi-Simpson stated that, most media practitioners of late put the stories out and probably asked the other person affected to respond later, saying, "This is unfair and irresponsible".
Journalists and media practitioners, he said, must take the ethics of the profession seriously.
He further stated the need for the various media organisations to work towards building the capacity of their workers.
He explained that, media organisations should send people who have the capacity to report on issues comprehensively when they have been invited to an event.
The rector expressed worry about the way some media practitioners cover events, saying, "The media must focus on merit and not diversionary issues."
He indicated that, media practitioners and journalists must ensure that they serve the public better by interrogating issues thoroughly.
For instance, he said, during an election year, journalists must interrogate incumbent and alternative regimes as well as manifestoes and also ask verifiable questions.
The Central Regional Minister, Kwamena Duncan, in his address, commended the Central Region branch of the GJA for organising the awards to recognise and celebrate the contribution of members towards the development of the region.
He noted that, media practitioners in the region had done quite well in highlighting issues that had contributed in shaping the transformation of the region.
The Central Region Chairman of the GJA, Mrs Alice Tettey, in her address, noted that, there were untapped resources in the region and said that, the media had a duty to support efforts at unlocking such potentials for the needed transformation.
She commended media practitioners in the region for their work so far but was quick to add that, more needed to be done.
In her address, the Vice President of the GJA, Mrs Linda Asante-Agyei, urged media practitioners to be safety conscious in the discharge of their duties, saying, "You need to be live in order to tell your story."
The GJA, she said, would be embarking on a series of programmes to build the capacity of members at both the national and the regional levels.
The President of the Central Regional House of Chiefs, Obrempong Nyanful Krampa XI, who was the chairman for the event, urged media practitioners to be circumspect in their reportage.