The Minister for Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah has reiterated government’s commitment to ensure the safety of journalists in the country.
He made the remarks at a stakeholders forum in Accra to validate the framework on safe and responsible journalism.
The framework is part of efforts to promote free and responsible media practice in Ghana.
The forum comes on the back of Ghana’s participation in the Global Conference on Media Freedom recently held in London with the aim of discussing ways to ensure responsible media and support for safety and protection of journalists.
Representatives from various groups and agencies including the Ghana Journalists Association, the Security Agencies, civil society groups, the National Media Commission and foreign Missions such as the UK, the US, Canada and UNESCO joined the forum to make inputs on the framework which will be implemented in September this year.
Addressing the opening ceremony, Minister for Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah said ensuring a free and responsible journalism is a collective duty and urged all stakeholders to play an active role in discussions on the framework.
“We need to have an environment where journalists can operate freely and trust that even when they make mistakes they will not be subjected to physical harm. An environment in which we can validate claims of attacks and also ensure protection for journalists as well as proffer punishment for offences,” he said.
The Minister disclosed that the framework will see the establishment of a permanent multi-stakeholder committee charged with ensuring that a safe and conducive environment exists for the practice of responsible journalism in Ghana.
He expressed government’s commitment to supporting measures that deepen the frontiers of free expression in the advancement of the country’s democracy.
The draft framework highlights some major activities such as an intensive education for all stakeholders including the media, security agencies, the judiciary among others on their role in ensuring a safe and responsible journalism practice.
It is also to provide a proper framework that validates attacks and threats on journalists in Ghana and the introduction of interventions to ensure prevention of attacks, protection of journalists and prosecution of persons involved in the attacks of Journalists.