Former President John Agyekum Kufuor has advised Ghanaian Journalists to accept mistakes when they go wrong in reporting and apologise accordingly as a mark of maturity and professionalism.
He said: “If during your duty, you get something wrong, please be bold and humble enough to accept your shortcoming and apologise for your misreporting… It makes you a more credible Journalist because to err is human.”
The Former President was speaking at the launch of the 70th Anniversary celebration of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) on Tuesday on the theme: “Democracy, Freedom and Independence of the Media in Ghana: 70 Years of GJA’s Contribution”.
He said it would be arrogant on the part of a Journalist not to accept responsibility on a proven misreporting, and that, such attitudes destroys the image of the journalism profession.
Mr. Kufuor, who launched the Anniversary, said it had always been his belief that, empowered responsible media would be a critical component to the realisation of the country’s motor of “Freedom and Justice,” which was the motivation for the efforts towards liberalising the media landscape.
He said the fight against corruption was still work in progress and that more needs to be done to fight the malfeasance in society, adding that, the media in exposing corrupt officials must be fair and accurate in its reportage.
He urged the GJA to monitor its members to ensure that the rights of individuals and government were not unduly violated, adding that, “Your association should be able to pull up its members who flout your ethics and rules, for necessary discipline”.
He said the GJA must ensure that no one within the profession took anything for granted to endanger and subvert the fine balance enacted by the Country’s Law.
GJA President, Roland Affail Monney, said the Former President’s respect for the media was paramount and recounted how Mr Kufuor used his office as the President of the Republic to repeal the Criminal Libel Law, which was a bottleneck of press freedom.
He said during president Kufuor’s era, he was very helpful to the sustainability of the GJA and helped the Association to get a permanent head office, coupled with a number of supports towards media freedom.
He described the Former President as “A President to celebrate, a democrat to appreciate and a model to emulate.”
As part of the occasion, the Former President was honoured with a citation, which described him as a ‘Champion of Champions of Press Freedom’.
The occasion outdoored the logo for the 70th Anniversary and also inaugurated the Anniversary Planning Committee.
The 70th Anniversary of the GJA was attended by Government officials, members of the Diplomatic Corps, former Presidents and national executive members of the GJA, veteran and senior journalists, and representatives of corporate Ghana among other dignitaries.