Freedom of the press does not translate into safety of journalists – Prof. Gadzekpo tells media owners

Dean School of Information and Communication Studies, UG, has called on media owners to prioritise the safety of journalists who work for them.

Prof Audrey Gadzekpo, speaking Saturday on JoyNews Newsfile, stated that media owners have not done enough to protect journalists.

According to her, media owners presume that the Freedom of the Press enshrined in the Constitution affords them protection from such incidents, but “freedom of the press does not translate into the safety of journalists.”

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Her comment follows the alleged assault of a journalist with Citi FM, Caleb Kudah by National Security operatives for filming on their premises without their permission.

Although the security agency has been highly criticised for the act, Prof. Gadzekpo says the incident raises a lot of issues about the safety of journalists in the country.

“Aside from the National security’s behavior, it raises issues relating to journalist duties, methods and ethics. It also raises issues relating to the deterioration of the safety for journalists which we need to talk about, and the role of different stakeholders and how the media organisations protect their journalists,” she said.

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The Professor argued that inasmuch as Ghana prides itself when it comes to press freedom, journalists still suffer abuse in the line of duty as “most media owners are simply not properly prepared to protect their journalists.”

Going forward, she charged media houses to put in place clear protocols that will encourage journalists to practice courageous Investigative Journalism as well as promote the safety of journalists in order to curb the menace.

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“Media Houses have an obligation to make sure that when their journalists go out to work, they are properly prepared. Media organisations should also invest in training journalists on how to probe deeply, uncover truth, verify truth but at the same time feel safe,” she said.



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