The Ashanti Regional branch of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) has observed with grave concern a situation where the Police Administration appears to have adopted what can be described as a ‘centralized communication system’ which ın our view has the potential to affect the time-testded Police-Media relations in the region.
The Association is finding it difficult to understand why the regional Police Command ın recent times appears to be avoiding media interviews on news items where the police in the region iş expected to provide clarifcations on urgent situations of public interest but rather chooses to refer the media to the headquarters in Accra.
Is it not surprising, why media houses in the region cannot access information of an incident in the region from the regional command?.
A point must be made by GJA that “our job is not just to be called upon to cover parades and” WASSA” at your instance”.
The fact remains that journalists have an essential duty to inform the public on the issues of security and other safety matters.
It is a fact that both journalists and the police share the common object of providing service to the Public, even though from different perspectives.
While the police work to keep peace and provide safety for the public, the media work to provide information, in fact, accurate information, to the public including the police and other security forces.
Therefore, the situation where a media house cannot access information from the Regional Command, but would have to wait for someone from Accra to respond to the issues, which in many instances is not forthcoming, should be of great worry to us and as a result calls for a second thought by the Police Administration.
İt is therefore our submission that İf nothing iş done to correct the state of affairs, such can easily give rise to speculations and twisting of facts, which would not be in the best interest of the people both institutions are serving.
İt is the position of GJA Ashanti that the police iş chatting a path of creating a strained relationship between the two institutions with the introducion of centralised communication system where journalists ın the region are referred to contact the headquarters in Accra for clarifications on news items ın Kumasi and its environs and that şame needs to be rectified.
This position of ours is reinforced by our strong desire to avoid instances of speculative reporting which can be inimical to the progress of democratic growth and development.
Ashanti Regional Chairman,
ALL MEDIA HOUSES
Source: Ayisah Foster/Broadcastergh.com/Editor,The Punch Newspaper