President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has admonished all media practitioners in the country to ensure a truthful and accurate reportage on the coronavirus pandemic.
“One thing that is important is that, as much as possible, there should be accuracy in what you convey. That is critical.”
The president was speaking in a meeting on Friday, April 24 2020 with the leadership of the National Media Commission, the Ghana Journalists Association, the Ghana Independent Broadcasters Association, the Private Newspaper Publishers Association of Ghana, as well as the leadership of State-Owned media organizations on the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the president, there are different perspectives, different views and conclusions but “the truth, the accuracy of what is relayed is very, very critical, especially in an emergency of this nature where the slightest misinformation or inaccuracy or misinterpretation can lead to a lot of grief and difficulty.”
He continued, “It is important that the facts be accurate because, if they aren’t, they generate an amount of uncertainty and fear in the society that is not helpful for the management of this crisis.”
President Akufo-Addo described the media as “a formidable ally” helping to inform and educate the citizenry about the pandemic and the steps that have to be taken to combat it, as well as discharging their roles as ‘vehicles of accountability’.
NMC Appeals to Media Practitioners
Speaking on behalf of the media, the Chairperson of the National Media Commission (NMC), Mr. Yaw Boadu-Ayeboafoh told the President that, since the onset of the pandemic in Ghana, the NMC has appealed to media practitioners to remain responsible in their reportage.
“What we said was that this is not the time for anybody to crack jokes. This is not the time for anybody to produce fake news. Particularly, it is not time for those of us in the mainstream media to pick any social media content that comes across, because one of the fundamental things that we the media need to understand is the fact that you do not put out any information whose source you cannot verify and confirm, whose veracity you cannot acknowledge,” he said.
“Other people can make jokes about our situation, but, if there should be any jokes, it should not come from the media, because we have a responsibility not only to ourselves but to the people of this country. We are the only ones who do not go to the people for their mandate,” the NMC boss added.
He continued, “Please, let us take our responsibility seriously, and let us give faith to those who have reposed their trust in us, even though they cannot vote us in or out. Let them continue to keep faith with us and understand that we will always do what is right. When the time demands, we will never fail them.”