Accra, Nov. 9, GNA - Professor Audrey Gadzekpo, Dean, School of Information and Communication Studies, University of Ghana, has urged the media to strive to gain the trust of the public.
She said this was crucial because as disseminators of information, their essence depended on their credibility.
Prof Gadzekpo said this at a Stake Holder’s Engagement on support for media freedom in the country, which was organised by Afro Barometer and the Centre for Democratic Development (CDD) in Accra.
The meeting discussed findings by a current survey by AfroBarometer, which said 57 percent of Ghanaians believed the government should have the right to regulate the media.
She said this reflected a huge drop, when it came to public confidence in the media compared to research that has been done in past years.
Prof Gadzekpo wondered if the findings stemmed from the public suspecting that the media was unethical and politicized, or perhaps the citizenry was losing their appreciation for the essence of an independent media.
she said perhaps the fact that the current media scope, unlike in previous times had drastically changed, especially with the inclusion of other information sources such as the social media, called for a reassessment by stakeholders of journalism in the country, and how best to ensure that the right standards were upheld.
Professor Henry Kwasi Prempeh, Executive Director, CDD, said it was worth noting that despite the findings, most Ghanaians trusted the media more than the government.
He said probably, 25 years into the Fourth Republic, most of those who constituted the sample for Afrobarometer’s research might have been too young perhaps to appreciate an independent media, unlike the older generation who were aware of the ills of a semi-muzzled media from experience.
Prof Prempeh said it was worth considering the possibility that there must be something about media behaviour that was causing the public to request that the media should be regulated.
He noted that it was important that the findings of AfroBarometer were examined in relation to actual media behaviour in the country, in order to come up with the best remedy that would ensure that the media performed credibly and within the expectation of the public.