MFWA Brings Media, Police Together
The Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) has, in the light of existing tension between the Ghanaian media and the police, organized a one-day forum that could be a pedestal towards a permanent settlement of the discord between the two organizations.
The forum, organized on Wednesday at the Police headquarters in Accra, saw in attendance key public figures such as the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), David Asante Appeatu, renowned media expert, Professor Kwame Karikari, President of Editors Forum, Madam Adjoa Yeboah-Afari, Executive Secretary of the National Media Commission (NMC), George Sarpong, and representatives from the Ghana Independent Broadcasters Association (GIBA), Ghana Community Radio Network (GCRN) and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
According to Mr. Sulemana Braimah, Executive Director of MFWA, the foundation recorded over 20 cases of abuse against journalists in Ghana in the past 18 months, and disclosed that the worrying trend prompted key media stakeholders to come up with avenues to quench the feud between the media and the police.
The IGP, Mr. Asante Apeatu, welcomed the forum, stressing that the media and police must see each other as partners in development.
“Today, I want us to wear solution-oriented glasses and do away with our own problem-oriented positions,” he said.
A number of journalists present at the forum raised a variety of problems they had encountered with the police and suggested how best such occurrences would be averted in the future.
Director of Police Intelligence and Professional Standards (PIPS) Bureau, COP Kofi Boakye, raised concerns about the posture of some journalists when seeking information from the police and advised that going forward, journalists adapt a more courteous approach towards the police.
Concluding, Professor Karikari advised journalists to specialize in beats so that they do not appear ignorant and ask ‘irrelevant questions’ when interacting with the police.
He also advised that the police exercise some restraint when interacting with media practitioners who, probably, do not understand the technicalities of the police profession.
The two institutions called for more of such interactions, to help find the balance between getting information and maintaining law and order.
It is expected that policy guidelines would be adopted in due course for the two institutions on how to work in harmony without crossing each other’s paths.