Punish attackers of journalists severely - Ghana Information Minister to judges

Information Minister Kojo Oppong Nkrumah has urged judges in Ghana to punish severely persons who assault journalists in the line of their work in order to serve as a deterrent to others who contemplate doing same.


Mr Oppong Nkrumah indicated that the attacks in journalists embarrass the nation for which an action must be taken immediately against such acts.


He said these while speaking in Ho in the Volta Region at a training workshop for judges on the need to protect freedom of expression and safety of journalists, on Monday June 20.


“The wheels of justice may grind slowly, but My Lord Chief Justice, the feedback I have from my media colleagues is that some quick punitive action targeted at the perpetrators of infringements against media practitioners will be appreciated.


“It will be the strongest message to the next batch of state and non-state actors that it is not acceptable to attack journalists, no matter how much you disagree with what they say,” the minister said.


“The wheels of justice may grind slowly, but My Lord Chief Justice, the feedback I have from my media colleagues is that some quick punitive action targeted at the perpetrators of infringements against media practitioners will be appreciated.


“It will be the strongest message to the next batch of state and non-state actors that it is not acceptable to attack journalists, no matter how much you disagree with what they say,” the minister said.


The Ministry of Information, to address the issue of attacks on journalists, has set in motion a number of programmes, with the objective of supporting the media.

The engagements have, since 2019, led to the development of some key interventions aimed at supporting the media industry to confront the key issues it is faced with.


First was the inauguration of the Office of the Coordinated Mechanism on the Safety of Journalists (CMSJ) under the National Media Commission (NMC). Key to the operation of that office is the development of a framework for use by all stakeholders to create a safe and conducive environment for the practice of journalism; prevent violence against journalists, protect journalists in danger and prosecute perpetrators of violence against journalists.


The ministry, through its Media Capacity Enhancement Programme (MCEP), is also providing training for 250 journalists on emerging issues in journalism.

That forms part of collaborative efforts to support the sector, which has been challenged in recent times.


The Right to Information (RTI) Law has also been rolled out in full. This includes the training and deployment or designation of RTI officers in the almost 600 government offices nationwide.


By GAN & Daily Guide