Ho, July 14, GNA - Mr Akoto Ampaw, a member of the National Media Commission, at the weekend said it was safer for Ghana to permit politicians to own newspapers.
He, however, suggested that politicians should be excluded from broadcast ownership since: “Broadcast stations have immediacy and could inflame passion before reason is adduced. If you want to be a politician, stay out of broadcast ownership.”
Mr Ampaw made these observations at a two-day capacity building workshop for staff of the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in Ho on Saturday.
The workshop under the auspices of STAR-Ghana, a multi-donor funding mechanism, is on the theme: “upgrading GNA's human capacity for in-depth coverage of Election 2012 and beyond.”
Mr Ampaw said that politicians could use the broadcast media to undertake political mobilisation through hate-speech and prejudices.
He said that politicians could be given the platform on broadcast medium to propagate their messages without necessarily owning such stations.
Mr Ampaw said that radio and television as a means of private political mobilization was dangerous to society.
He said politicians could, however, own newspapers because they do not pose the danger associated with broadcast and radio stations because of greater surety of gate-keeping.
Mr Ampaw referred to the Rwanda genocide and the recent post-election violence in Kenya, and cautioned Ghanaian journalists that they face individual and collective risk if they took the path of trading in politically motivated prejudices and hate-speeches.
Mr Mawusi Afele, Acting General Manager of GNA, exhorted journalists to sieve facts from propaganda, stereotypes and prejudices and be guided by its house styles.
He extolled them to be constantly guided by the ethical and editorial judgement in order not to inflame passion.