Wednesday, September 24, 2008

IPR cautions against divisive political communication

    The Institute of Public Relations, Ghana, (IPR)
said on Tuesday that it had noted with great concern the use of the media to escalate an unhealthy political tension during the campaign leading to the elections in December.
     A statement by its President, Mr Kojo Yankah, said agents of government, political parties, public relations firms and some individuals had in the last few weeks used the media particularly to resort to abusive, divisive and ethnically provocative language meant to win the favour of the public on their behalf.
     Sections of the media had also colluded in the name of press freedom in giving prominence and valuable space and airtime to inciting the population to fan invectives which undermined the unity of the country.
     It said IPR considered that, while the country must continue to encourage the responsible use of press freedom, political discourse and communication should reflect genuine and concrete designs and programmes by various political parties in addressing issues of concern to the people.
     The statement said this was the time to discuss and debate how the lives of the electorate can be transformed, how the nation can join the comity of emerging economies of the 21st century and how the problems on the ground can be solved by whoever comes to power after the elections.
     It said by encouraging sensational, witch-hunting and insulting language, spokespersons and the media were assisting in diverting the attention of the public from the real issues which would unite the people and help build a peaceful and prosperous nation.
     IPR, Ghana, called on all media and public relations agencies, advertising companies, political spokespersons and party activists to seriously review their political messages and editorial decisions to favour a sanitized and peaceful atmosphere to shepherd the nation to a civil future, the statement said.

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