The President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has charged media professionals, especially, journalists, to have the courage and humility to say sorry if they err in their line of duty.
This, he said, contributes to building a healthy society.
Addressing the 2019 Ghana Bar Association Conference in Takoradi in the Western Region on Monday, September 9, 2019, President Akufo-Addo said journalists like all human beings, should strive not to abuse freedom of expression.
He said just as politicians make mistakes, journalists also do and when the true facts are presented to them, they should be bold enough to apologize.
“Politicians are not the only persons who make mistakes. Media practitioners, like all human beings, can also make mistakes, and, and when they do, they should have the humility to acknowledge their error, and not have their misdeeds atoned under the guise of media freedom. Irresponsible media practice is an abuse of freedom of expression, not its manifestation”, he noted.
He added “The publication of unverified claims, in the haste to be first to break so-called “news”, is a very worrying trend that must be checked by regulators and media practitioners alike. In such cases, even after the public has been misinformed and the true facts are later made known, media often chickens out of an honest open acknowledgment that “we erred”. The response is often to refuse to apologize or sweep it under the carpet, and move on to the next big story”
He said the media has immeasurable power to build up the confidence and values of the society and its institutions and therefore called on media professionals to take a second look at the power they wield, and the responsibility they owe society, with a view to ensuring that they do not sacrifice integrity and the future of the society for today’s headline or breaking news.