November 11, 2016/ By News Ghana
The forum brought together GJA members and executives, media owners, representatives of groupings and the academia and experts in the media sectors to review the draft GJA code of ethics.
A seven- member committee was constituted to review the code with sponsorship from the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung.
Mr Roland Affail Monney, the President of the GJA, said the Association in 1994 developed and adopted its code of ethics and with the proliferation of media types, it was prudent to revise the code to meet the new challenges in the media landscape.
He explained that the challenges include the impact of media pluralism and diversity, the sheer numbers of radio and TV stations across the country as well as the emergence of new media which had exacerbated the situation.
Mr Monney said the document was intended to encompass all the challenges across the traditional, new media, social media and cross media as far as news gathering, processing and dissemination was concerned.
The revised code was to take cognisance of all ethical breaches which have been identified in the practice of journalism including hoax stories, April fool pranks, fabrications, publishing stories without sourcing and presenting advertisements and promotional materials as news.
He explained that the new code had been simplified to ensure easy understanding and to ensure that members adhere to the highest ethical standards, professional competence and good behaviour in their field of practice.
Dr Kweku Rockson, the Consultant to the revised code, said the code provided a framework of reference to the National Executive and the ethics and disciplinary council and members of the association when it became necessary to initiate disciplinary action against any member who flouted any article of the code.
Mr Yaw Boadu-Ayeboafoh, a member of the Committee, said the new code would make the media very relevant in the future, and charged practitioners to see themselves as part of responsible citizens by abiding by the code of ethics.
Mr Fritz Kopsieker, the Country Director of the Friedrich Ebert Foundation, said the important role the media played in promoting democracy prompted the foundation to support the GJA to fine-tune the code of ethics to ensure professionalism.
He expressed the hope that the new code of ethics would give credence to practitioners to comply with the tenets of professional standards to transform the media landscape.
Key words: GJA, ethics, code