Founder and General Overseer of the Champion Ways Chapel International, Bishop Sam Owusu has cautioned Journalists, especially news anchors in the Twi- speaking radio stations to be circumspect and lessen the intensity of exaggerations in their reportage to avoid turmoil and misunderstandings amongst political parties and the good people of Ghana, as much as peace is concerned in this December elections.
According to Bishop Sam Owusu, Journalists must be a vessel of peace and not a tool for war, therefore urged journalists to report exactly what they see on the field without biases to avoid conjectures and presumptions which are likely to inflame tensions among political parties.
“As we pray for the Electoral Commission to deliver credible polls, politicians and discerning Ghanaians to keep calm, Journalists can never be left out, especially being the mouthpiece of the people must be mindful of how they package their contents, because one single word put out there, can cause an uproar and rift amongst Ghanaians”. He stated.
Emphasizing that, everyone can make pronunciations on issues confronting the nation or even make predictions of the outcome of this year’s election which can be treated likely, but one word coming from the Journalist can chance the state of a nation in either to a rightful or wrongful direction, depending on what information they put across, because the ordinary Ghanaian depends on Journalists for information.
“The people rely on you, as the rightful source of information and so, if your presentations are not accurate, if it’s not credible and presented in an exaggerated manner, it rather tends to mislead the people to an unnecessary anxiety which is very bad on your professions as Journalist”. Bishop reiterated.
Sometimes, the choice of words they add up to their contents eventually tends to spoil the beauty of the story and its tendency.
“I remember making a statement sometime ago during sermons, about men who go for prostitutes and indulge in prostitution and when I listened to the same statement on the radio, the way the newscaster twisted the story was over- inflated and misleading, which I even regretted ever making such pronouncement”. He cited.
Citing that, assuming he asks his members to vote massively during these elections, it doesn’t mean he’s being political or forcing the whole nation to vote, but only urged within his confines and so, News Anchors must be prudent in their contents to prevent misinterpretations.
He said there is the need for responsible reportage on the part of Journalists to make this year’s elections one of the best in our political history. And so, Journalists must report accurately on the elections and avoid declaring winner ahead of the EC.
According to him, the practice has the tendency of affecting the nation positively as well as causing mystification among political parties and their supporters, so Journalists must set aside their political difference and neutralize in all aspect to be a major partner of the EC in ensuring that the elections are conducted successfully.
“Our responsibility as Ghanaians is to make Ghana go through successful elections, so I call on every individual who advocate for peace and has the nation at heart, starting from the EC, Political Leaders, Party faithful, discerning Ghanaians and most importantly, Journalists to avoid going into the elections with bias and deceptive minds to distract the peaceful outcome of this elections we lookout for. He urged.
By: Blessing Roselyn Boateng