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The Media: Makers or Breakers of Peace?

2008-12-04 23:31:23
This article has been read 977 times.

Ensuring peace in Ghana, especially in the volatile Bawku and Dagbon areas, and forestalling any gyrations of violence is the responsibility of not only politicians, the national security forces, and the general citizenry, but also the media. The unfortunate culture of crimes with impunity and lawlessness in our current political dispensation have transformed the Bawku and Dagbon areas into the epicenters of preventable violence and ‘time bombs’ just waiting to explode with the least friction. These “time bombs” must not be allowed to go off for any reason.

The various media establishments in Ghana have a quintessential role in maintaining and sustaining peace and harmony. FM radio stations should endeavor to play a positive role by helping to preach about peace, instead of going on air with inflammatory pieces that are aimed to foment violence and chaos. Similarly, the print media, digital media, and the television stations have a critical responsibility of helping to make peace and sustain Ghana as a peaceful place. We should remember that peace and development are imponderables on which our society hinges; hence the media should carry out their reportage with decorum, circumspect, fairness, and professionalism.

FM radio stations should boldly turn down participants or callers who go on air to propagate hatred and animosity against their political opponents with the view to incite violence. Furthermore, people who call in to spew derogatory language about or against their opponents should either be cut off immediately or be told to come with peaceful ideas and contributions. Honest journalism is part of media professionalism; therefore members of the media are urged not to be parsimonious with truths and facts about incidents that they cover in their reportage, especially in the run up to and after the elections. Media reportage based on biases, twisted facts, and half-truths is not only inimical to the sustenance of peace, but also, deleterious to the integrity of media professionals and could turn the media into peace breakers.

In sum, the media should broadcast, print, and air views and inputs that are constructive and pro-peace. I passionately urge the media to be peace makers by helping to promote peace in Ghana and to openly condemn any attempts by members of any political party to intimidate their opponents, inflame passions, or ignite violence.

We should all not forget that a nation divided is a nation defeated. My fellow Ghanaians, it doesn’t pay to incite violence, because in the end, Ghana will be the big loser if we resort to violence. Let us all live in peace in spite of our political and traditional differences.

Thank you.

Peace for the North! Peace for Ghana!
By: Natogmah Issahaku
(Dagbon Peace and Development Advocate)
Hails from Jisonaayilli, Tamale

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