The Acting Executive Secretary of the National Peace Council (NPC), Mr George Amoh, says for the first time in the country’s history a former president will be competing against a sitting president in next year’s elections. It is for this reason that the Peace Council is again engaging all interest groups and partnering the media to prepare the minds of Ghanaians for a violence-free election. Mr Amoh said Journalists are being trained on how to cover conflict and avoid the use of intemperate language. The training is under the auspices of the National Peace Council with support from the Danish Embassy, ahead of next year’s general elections.
The session in Accra, is the final in a number of training workshops held in Ho, Koforidua, Tamale, Obuasi and Takoradi to refresh memories and introduce media practitioners to new ways of Journalism in which the media can help to stop conflicts and end the perpetuation of news that has the potential to cause conflict. The thrust of the training all over the country was Peace Journalism.
Mr Amoh, said engagement with various interest groups, opens up the space for communication and helps to avert the escalation of latent misunderstandings into conflict. He was hopeful that the training would lead to better reportage and create awareness that Ghanaians need to sustain the peace and in essence leave a better country for the next generation.
The Greater Accra Regional Chairman of the NPCl, Right Reverend Samuel Osabutey was optimistic that the media will learn new ways and insights of doing their work. He referred to the Rwandan experience of violence and steps that have been taken to prevent hate speech in that country. Rt. Rev. Osabutey noted that if the media allow themselves to be used to foment violence, they would also bear the consequences as happened in the Rwandan example where journalists are serving jail terms for their role in the genocide.
The facilitators for the two-day training session were the Managing Editor of Ghana Business News and Executive Director NewsBridge Africa, Emmanuel Dogbevi and Francis Kokutse, former West Africa Correspondent of the Indo Asian News Service.
Story by: Joyce Anim Ayeko