Don’t be afraid of intimidation – GJA backs journalists over Election 2020 coverage

The Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) reiterates its “unwavering, unshakable and irrevocable” commitment to stand by all media practitioners in the aftermath of the 2020 elections.

The GJA asked journalists not to be intimidated by anyone in the line of their duty especially after the recently held elections.

The GJA in a statement signed by its President, Affail Monney, on Monday, December 14 noted that this has been an election with heightened tension, tremendous challenges and enormous risks occasioned by gunshots, which left two journalists critically injured at the Ablekuma Central Constituency Collation Centre in Accra.

The GJA strongly believes that “these life-threatening experiences, as well as the inestimable sacrifice, sleepless nights, boundless energy, patriotic zeal, reportorial skills, editorial competence, analytical power and projectional acumen  journalists  and media houses displayed  deserve fulsome commendation and not outright condemnation”.

Don’t be afraid of intimidation – GJA backs journalists over Election 2020 coverage
Don’t be afraid of intimidation – GJA backs journalists over Election 2020 coverage

“Indeed, leading members of the two leading political parties – the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the National Democratic Congress (NDC) have publicly applauded the media for a good job done in the coverage of the elections. Soon after the declaration of the presidential election results, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, in a victory speech at his Nima residence, said: ‘The praise of the nation goes to the media for the extensive coverage provided before, during and after the conduct of the polls’. Similarly, the General Secretary of the NDC, Johnson Asiedu Nketia, at a press conference at the NDC Headquarters in Accra after the declaration of the results, said: ‘The media have followed us all along the line, carrying our complaints and reservations up to this stage’. These submissions by two stalwarts of the NPP and the NDC vindicate our high commendation of the media for a good job done.

“True,  there were a few instances of imperfections in the coverage of the elections. But these imperfections did not, and cannot, obscure the fact that the media generally excelled of which Ghanaians must be proud. More pointedly, nothing justifies the verbal  attacks, blazing threats and cyber-bullying being perpetrated against certain journalists and media houses for performing their electoral duty and executing their constitutional mandate. The anti-media brew which is bubbling in certain political circles is inimical to press freedom and dangerous to our democracy. This  must stop forthwith. We also demand that it is time for conscientious and dutiful citizens of this country to rise and defend the media from any ‘bullet attacks’ and ‘bloodshed calls’ targeted at journalists.

“The GJA encourages all journalists to go about their professional work unafraid and unintimidated. They should also inject the highest degree of circumspection in their work and do nothing to fan the flames of tension nor stoke the embers of violence.

“Finally, the GJA appeals to the media community to lend their full support to moves to calm down  tempers and pull the nation back from the precipice it finds itself.”

By Laud Nartey||Ghana

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