Home Foreign News “Resist Divisive Information” …ECOWAS Resident Representative Urges Journalists

“Resist Divisive Information” …ECOWAS Resident Representative Urges Journalists

by News Manager

By: Varney Dukuly

MONROVIA: The ECOWAS Commission in Liberia, has called on Liberian journalists not to use their platforms to promote hate speech and dis-information in the lead up to the Presidential and Legislative elections scheduled for October 10, 2023.

Representative Josephine Nkrumah pointed out that the media must ensure that the voices of the ordinary people are prioritized as opposed to giving platforms to individuals who are divisive in nature.

“We hope to promote inclusivity, work towards eliminating fake news,” said Ambassador Nkrumah.

The call for informed and responsible journalism in Liberia was echoed Monday at the start of a two-day ECOWAS engagement aimed at enhancing the role of the media and CSOs to support credible and peaceful elections in the country.

Madam Nkrumah, among other things, stressed that Liberia’s celebration of two decade of peace should signal to all that the protection of the peace is important in these elections.

The ECOWAS engagement with the media brought together some of Liberia’s best journalists charged to play critical roles including checkmating misinformation and disinformation.

The 2023 Presidential and Legislative elections have been viewed by ECOWAS and other international partners as a juncture to protect the peace and tranquility after decades of its civil war.

“The media are the gatekeepers of information,” said Madam Nkrumah at the start of the engagement with the media Monday.

“As professionals, you have the power to rightfully inform and educate the public and minimize the spread of fake news and hate speeches to hold those in power accountable to the electorate,” she stressed.

“The media should also play major role in setting the agenda that enhances critical thinking hinged on informed and descending civic engagements,” she further cautioned.

Madam Nkrumah: “The ECOWAS Commission sincerely hopes to foster an environment of informed and responsible journalism and reporting, believing fully well that it will contribute to the empowerment of our citizens and consolidate our democracy.”

The Head of Democracy and Good Governance Division within the ECOWAS Commission, Ebenezer Asiedu stated that building the capacity of the media is vital to sustain peaceful elections in Liberia.

He added that in the in face of propaganda and dis-information, the media must play moderate role, considering what is going out for public consumption.

“It is also to discourage media outlets from being used to promote hate speeches and fake news,” said Ebenezer Asiedu.

Topnotch facilitators include Kwame Karikari, Professor of Journalism and Media; Sulemana Braimah, Executive Director, Media Foundation for West Africa.

They discussed issues of the media and election in West Africa and hate speech, indecent campaign and its implications for peaceful elections.

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