Journalists have been cautioned to be objective in their reportage in order to avoid having a brush with the law as they are not above the laws of the land.
He also urged journalists to be circumspect in their reportage to gain reputation and foot-hold.
Mr George-Ramsey Benamba, Chief Editor and Head of the Home Desk at the Ghana News Agency in Accra reminded journalists that bad stories damaged the reputation of both the individual journalists and their media organizations.
He stated this at “End of month stakeholder engagement and workers’ appreciation day,” organized by the Tema Regional Office of the Ghana News Agency.
The event is a platform rolled-out for state and non-state actors to address national issues.
The maiden programme, which was attended by the TDC Development Company Limited (TDC), National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE), and Information Services Department (ISD) was used to deepen the working relations with the stakeholders.
Mr Benamba said some journalists have the tendency to do whatever they pleased at the detriment of other people; “the fact that you have the pen to write doesn’t mean that you have a justification to destroy somebody.
“That is why the courts are there, if you destroy somebody with your pen, they will take you to court and if you are charged you could subsequently be jailed for so many years at the end of which, you would have worried yourself and your family”.
He therefore implored journalists to seek the welfare of people and report diligently for the benefit mankind and the society as a whole.
Mr Benamba said before writing stories, “Ask yourself, of what benefit will it be to the people, is it going to hurt or interest a lot of people?.These are the questions you need to analyze before you put pen to paper.”
He advised journalists to research thoroughly before writing stories and not to resort to the practice of, “armchair journalism” where they sit in the office and assume what is happening in the communities.
He implored journalists to dwell more on analyzing issues to outline the benefits including; advantages and disadvantages.
Mr Francis Ameyibor, GNA Tema Regional Manager explained that as a developing nation, the Ghanaian media must cultivate a strong two-way communication conduit with State and Non-State Actors taking into consideration the overall national interest as the measuring yardstick.
He said the office had initiated a mechanism to strengthen its working relations with strategic state and non-state actors in Tema for national development.
Mr Ameyibor said “we are working towards strengthening our working relations with Traditional Authorities; Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies; Civil Society Organizations and other stakeholders, to offer voice to the voiceless in society”.
He explained that the event also served as a motivational mechanism to recognize the editorial contribution of reporters towards national development in general and growth and promotion of the Tema GNA as the industrial news hub.
Mr Ameyibor said the Agency was strategically placed as a credible news organisation that needed to deepen its relations with its stakeholders for mutual benefit and to advance the prospects of the agency and the country as a whole.
Mr Isaac Kwame Antwi, NCCE Tema Metropolitan Director commended the GNA for its continuous support for the commission and other democratic governance institutions towards national development and the promotion of civic education across the country.