Apr 17, 2012 at 11:02am
The GJA And Election 2012
NEWS COMMENTARY ON THE GHANA JOURNALISTS ASSOCIATION'S EFFORT AT ENSURING A TRANSPARENT AND CREDIBLE 2012 ELECTIONS REPORTAGE
Come December 7, 2012, The Ghanaian media will once again have an opportunity to prove their traditional role as the fourth estate of the realm.
To hold themselves accountable to this enormous task, the Ghana Journalists Association in collaboration with KAB Governance Consult and Star - Ghana has launched a media project dubbed "Using the Media to Enhance the Transparency and Credibility of the 2012 Elections”.
The project will take shape in four complementary phases.
The first will give voice to three critical institutions, the Electoral Commission, the National Commission on Civil Education and the National Media Commission (NMC).
Article 162 Clause 5 of the 1992 Constitution mandates these three bodies to serve as educational and informational mouth pieces to Ghana's democratic dispensation.
The onus here rests on the media not only to publish and broadcast activities of the Electoral Commission (EC), NCCE and Media Commission, but also focus on the intricacies of these institutions and how they impact on the country's democracy.
For example, the media must properly educate themselves before going out to ask questions and also supplying of information.
Phase two of the GJA media project will provide the avenue for political parties to present their manifestos where the media will have a chance to interrogate party candidates on major issues such as health, education, food security and energy.
It will be very embarrassing if media personnel do not equip themselves by reading the manifestos of these candidates.
Without asking the right questions, the media might not get the right answers.
The media have the responsibility to hold this country's potential leaders accountable by making them provide the electorate with the right answers.
The media will obviously be doing a great disservice to this nation by not taking the trouble to be well educated on the various manifestos of political candidates.
Phase three of the GJA Media project will provide an election platform for open discussions with political parties, judiciary and the police.
This programme will be aired possibly on television.
The GJA will focus on straightening its elections relay centre as phase four of the project.
The goal here is that on elections day, the media must liaise with the centre for credible and certified results before publishing or broadcasting them.
Remember, on December 7, the citizenry will rely heavily on the media for the results of who will occupy the highly contested presidential seat as well as parliament.
The GJA has carved a positive plan to ensure the propagation of a transparent and credible 2012 election, but the question of implementation is key.
As was reiterated by Electoral Commission Chairman Dr.
Afari Djan the media project is laudable and will set the right agenda, but impartiality is crucial if the project is to succeed in promoting the growth and consolidation of Ghana's enviable democracy.
BY: REBECCA EKPE, A JOURNALIST.