Takoradi, November 17, 2014 – Journalists attending a media forum to mark International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists (IDEI) in the Western region have called on media stakeholders and the United Nations to initiate a mechanism for reporting and documenting incidents of attacks against journalists in the country. They also called for more fora to provide information on issues relating to safety of journalists for the security services and political parties. The journalists expressed their displeasure about the way they are treated at events to which they have been invited to provide coverage, citing a recent incidence involving a Citi FM news reporter and political party supporters in Bogoso in the Western region.
The Forum which was organized by UNESCO and the UN Information Centre (UNIC, Accra), brought together about thirty five journalists from the print and broadcast media. The event marked the IDEI under the theme “The State of Journalists’ Safety in Ghana: The case of the Western Region”.
In a presentation, the Acting GJA Regional Secretary, Zambaga Rufai Saminu reminded journalists of their responsibility to protect the citizens of Ghana and emphasized the need for professionalism in their field of practice. He expressed his appreciation to UNESCO and UNIC for holding a forum to draw public attention to the state of Journalists’ safety in Ghana. Mr. Saminu also promised to hold events to highlight the dangers journalists face in the course of their duties and to engage the security service in discussions on the protection of journalists in the future.
The National Information Officer of UNIC Accra, Ms. Cynthia Prah elaborated on the essence of the Day and encouraged journalists to present the facts without prejudice in their reportage.
The IDEI was for the first time commemorated this year to create more awareness and advocacy around the fact that safety of journalists is crucial for freedom of expression to take root and democracies to be sustainable. The day was declared by the UN General Assembly following the adoption of a resolution on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity in December 2013.
The Takoradi event was the second event to be held in Ghana to mark the Day.