President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has urged the media to desist from the unethical practice of misinforming the public and learn to retract and apologise for wrong publications.
Mr Akufo-Addo expressed worry that in some cases, even after the public has been misled and the true facts emerge, the “media often chicken out on an honest, open, acknowledgment that we erred”.
He pointed out that: “The response is often a refusal to apologize or sweep it under the carpet and move on to the next big story”.
Nana Akufo-Addo made the comments at the Ghana Bar Association (GBA) annual conference in the Western Region on Monday, 9 September 2019.
He stated that politicians are not the only people susceptible to mistakes but media practitioners, like all other humans, can also make mistakes, “and when they do, they should have the humility to acknowledge their error and not have their misdeeds atoned under the guise of media freedom”.
In his opinion, “irresponsible media practice is an abuse of the freedom of expression”.
Mr Akufo-Addo also condemned the mushrooming of media outlets that publish information without verification and called for stringent regulation.
“Deliberate misinformation campaign which in itself are not new in politics and war have now gained added currency with the proliferation of media channels including social media, a major threat to the integrity of the news world as we have known it, has thus emerged.
“Also, the publication of unverified threats in a haste to be first to break so-called news is a very worrying threat that must be checked by regulators and media practitioners alike,” he stated.
The President also described as sad and unfortunate the description of the murder of Tiger Eye PI’s investigative reporter, Ahmed Hussein-Suale, as an attack on the media while assuring that the perpetrators would be brought to book.