The Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) on Monday reiterated its unwavering, unshakable, and irrevocable commitment to stand by all media practitioners in the aftermath of the 2020 elections.
The GJA in a statement signed by its President, Mr Affail Monney, and copied to the Ghana News Agency, said the election had been one with heightened tension, tremendous challenges, and enormous risks occasioned by gunshots.
Gunshots that left two journalists critically injured at the Ablekuma Central Collation Centre in Accra.
“The GJA strongly believes that these life-threatening experiences, as well as the inestimable sacrifice, sleepless nights, boundless energy, patriotic zeal, reportorial skills, editorial competence, analytical power of journalists and media houses displayed, deserve fulsome commendation and not outright condemnation,” it said.
Leading members of the two major political parties, the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the National Democratic Congress (NDC), it said, had publicly applauded the media for a good job done in the coverage of the elections.
Soon after the declaration of the presidential election results, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, in a victory speech at his Nima residence, said: “The praise of the nation goes to the media for the extensive coverage provided before, during and after the conduct of the polls”.
Similarly, the General Secretary of the NDC, Mr Johnson Asiedu Nketia, at a press conference at the NDC Headquarters in Accra after the declaration of the results, said: “The media have followed us all along the line, carrying our complaints and reservations up to this stage”.
These submissions by two stalwarts of the NPP and the NDC vindicate our high commendation of the media for a good job done, the statement said.
It explained that although there were few instances of imperfections in the coverage of the elections, they did not, and could not obscure the fact that the media generally excelled, of which Ghanaians had to be proud.
“More pointedly, nothing justifies the verbal attacks, blazing threats and cyber-bullying being perpetrated against certain journalists and media houses for performing their electoral duty and executing their constitutional mandate.
“The anti-media brew which is bubbling in certain political circles is inimical to press freedom and dangerous to our democracy. This must stop forthwith.
“We also demand that it is time for conscientious and dutiful citizens of this country to rise and defend the media from any ‘bullet attacks’ and ‘bloodshed calls’ targeted at journalists,” the statement said.
The GJA encouraged all journalists to go about their professional work unafraid and unintimidated while injecting the highest degree of circumspection in their work.
It also cautioned journalists not to fan the flames of tension or stoke the embers of violence.
The Association also appealed to the media community to lend their full support to moves to calm down tempers and pull the nation back from the precipice it finds itself.
“Ayeekooo once again to all journalists in Ghana,” the statement said.