Albert Kwabena Dwumfour
The Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) has expressed concern about the decision by the Ghana Police Service to centralise the sharing of information to the public and the media, including information from towns, communities, districts and the regions being held up in Accra and released from Accra.
The Association in a statement signed by its President, Albert Kwabena Dwumfour, said this model of communication is not new and the GJA acknowledges the vision of the Police Administration to ensure that communication by the police is done properly based on adequate briefs.
“This notwithstanding, it is essential to state that information is the oxygen for democratic dispensation and the media, being the Fourth Estate of the Realm, thrive on information. Starving the media of information in a decentralised system using centralisation tactics is impeding the work of the media as far as information dissemination is concerned,” the statement said.
It said although the Police Administration may have germane reasons for the directive to have a centralised system, the GJA believes that the system is counter-productive and only creates room for speculation and misinformation and disinformation.
“It is important to emphasise that the GJA’s quest to get this system reversed follows incessant calls from the rank and file of the media fraternity asking for actions and intervention by the National Executive. It is also instructive to note that before this press statement, some of our regional branches were left with no option than to issue statements calling on the IGP to reconsider his decision to centralise information sharing and allow Regional Commanders and their Public Relations officers to give information on issues in their jurisdiction to the media as it used to be the norm,” it added.
The statement further stated that journalists in the region are concerned about accurate and informed reportage, and it is important that they are assisted with timely and credible information to deliver on their mandate.
The GJA is, therefore, on the Police Administration to rescind its decision on the centralisation of information in the interest of the public.
GJA entreated all journalists and media practitioners, in general, to remain calm while the National Executives make efforts to address their concerns and ensure a reversal of this system of communication by the Police Administration.
The statement also commended the Inspector General of Police, Dr. George Akuffo Dampare, for his sterling leadership so far.
BY Gibril Abdul Razak