Journalists must feel safe even when they err – Oppong Nkrumah

The government of Ghana has said it is aiming at creating a media-friendly and safe environment for journalists to freely practise their profession without fear of harm even if they make mistakes, thus, the opening of a forum to validate the framework on safe and responsible journalism in Accra

The framework is part of efforts to promote free and responsible media practice in Ghana.

Friday’s forum came on the back of Ghana’s participation in the Global Conference on Media Freedom recently held in London which discussed ways to ensure responsible media and the safety of journalists

Representatives from various groups and agencies including the Ghana Journalists Association, the security agencies, civil society groups, the National Media Commission and foreign missions of the UK, the US, Canada and UNESCO joined the forum to make inputs on the framework which will be implemented in September this year.

Addressing the opening ceremony, Ghana’s Information Minister Kojo Oppong Nkrumah said ensuring free and responsible journalism is a collective duty and urged all the stakeholders to play an active role in the discussions.

“We need to have an environment where journalists can operate freely and trust that even when they make mistakes they will not be subjected to physical harm”, Mr Nkrumah said.

He explained that such an environment must be one in which “we can validate claims of attacks and also ensure protection for journalists as well as proffer punishment for offences”.

Mr Nkrumah disclosed that the framework will see the establishment of a permanent multi-stakeholder committee charged with ensuring that a safe and conducive environment exists for the practice of responsible journalism in Ghana.

He expressed the government’s commitment to supporting measures that deepen the frontiers of free expression in the advancement of the country’s democracy.

The draft framework highlights some major activities such as an intensive education for all stakeholders including the media, security agencies, the judiciary among others on their role in ensuring a safe and responsible journalism practice; a proper framework that validates attacks and threats on journalists in Ghana and the introduction of interventions to ensure the prevention of attacks, protection of journalists and prosecution of persons involved in the attacks of journalists.

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