The Western Region Chairman of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), Nana Toku, has charged journalists to use the same yardstick they used to measure the performance of the past Mahama administration in assessing the Akufo-Addo administration.
Nana Toku said it is regrettable that some media practitioners, who viciously criticized the past NDC government for certain decisions they deemed bad for the country, have gone quiet and are watching on while the same and, according to him, even worse decisions are being taken by the Akufo-Addo-led government.
The regional chairman expressed concern when he and his regional executives met media practitioners in the Western Region.
According to the regional leadership of the party, the end-of-year meeting was for the party to renew its relationship with the media while discussing how they could co-exist in furtherance of the development of the party and the Region.
Nana Toku stated that there will be several instances where executives and communicators of the party will err in their dealings with the media.
“We are humans. It is possible for tempers to flare up especially in the course of advancing a point about a programme of action or an implemented policy of our party on air. Sometimes that comes out as an attack and therefore an equal response sometimes from hosts of programmes. That insistence from a party official should not be enough reason to sidestep the good tenets of journalism. Your role as a referee becomes suspicious.”
He added: “There are also instances where you will hear something about a member of the party. I cannot for any reason tell you not to run your story. What I will, however, urge you to do is just to call the person for his side of the story because for every story there are two sides. When you do that you become respectable and credible as well.”
Western Region Secretary of the party Joe Nelson underscored the importance of the media and admitted that the success or otherwise of political parties largely rests on how they are portrayed by the media.
“Your role is very critical. You have become undoubtedly strategic partners for development. Whether good or bad you say it. So, we appreciate you a lot. So as much as possible we want to have a cordial relationship.”
He, however, pleaded with media practitioners not to assume the role of unofficial spokespersons for the government during discussions on policies and programmes of governments as that sends out wrong signals about the professionalism of that person.
“It is not always that we will see one thing the same way. Our challenge is sometimes, some of you put yourselves in the debate rather than being a referee.”
Western Region Organizer of the party Japheth Baidoo also charged media practitioners to be bold and point out to government when it is peddling falsehood, especially about projects.
“A lot of policies and programmes of this and past governments may not have been implemented if it had not been for your vigilance. You should continue doing so. If you hear the government claiming there are certain projects under the 1D1F in the region and it is not true, we cannot keep quiet because we do not belong to the NDC. If you speak the truth and government becomes more conscious about what it has to do and indeed put up two or three factories, under the 1D1F we all will benefit.”