Standards in reporting sex

April 19, 2017
Source: l Ghana
Standards in reporting sex

“We are not implementing the standards of how to report sexual violence. But they are there” said Professor Audrey Gadzekpo, Head of Communications at the University Ghana. She was one of the attendees at year 2 of #reImagineGH2017: stories, standards, sex - the prestigious annual Ghana media summit by EAA Media Productions.

Professor Gadzekpo’s comments came during the Q&A session, after panelist Nana Ama Agyemang Asante, a writer and co-host of Citi FM’s breakfast show CitiCBS, lamented the lack of standards when reporting stories about sexual violence, rape or defilement in Ghana’s media. Nana Ama spoke thoughtfully about the challenges journalists face in reporting these stories and the damage done due to the approach.

Sammy Darko, former BBC Correspondent for Ghana weighed in after the summit on this issue. His contention was that the Ghana Journalist Association (GJA) has a code of ethics that too many media houses fail to communicate to their journalists and lack of awareness impacted coverage of such issues. He cited LI2224, the content regulation code that would mandate what was acceptable and unacceptable on air – radio, TV or social media.  That code contained more prescriptive ideas of how sexual violence should be reported on in the media.

The Ghana Independent Broadcast Commission said it breached Article 71 of the Constitution that mandates free speech and the Supreme Court subsequently struck down portions of it.

Bridget Otoo of TV3 also weighed in on this issue during the summit Q&A. Her concern was media houses’ competitiveness could lead to unethical journalism.

The passionate engaged discussion was just one part of #reImagineGH2017: stories, standards, sex – the DIGITAL world.

The annual summit brings together the worlds of journalism, academia and communications  with one theme: to engage, explore and reflect on how the media deals with stories, what kinds of standards does it have and how do we improve them as well as can media better handle the sensitive issue of sex, sexual violence, victims – and the issue of gender. 

It was a packed house with journalists from a number of media houses in attendance. Attendees included:- Dr. Kajsa Hallberg and Dr Efua Prempah of Ashesi University; Professor Audrey Gadzekpo and Dr Marquita Smith of University of Ghana; Dr Etse Sikanku, host of World Affairs on Class FM91.3; Sammy Darko, former BBC Correspondent for Ghana; Bridget Otoo of TV3. The focus was the DIGITAL world, and they were also in attendance. They included Nicole Amarteifio of An African City and Nana Opoku, Social Media Manager of MG Digital.

The visionary behind the annual media summit is EAA Media Productions and its Director Esther Armah. The company is creator of the summit, conducts master class media training and creates content. Ms. Armah explains EAA Media Productions is a change agent media company. In addition to creating the summit, it conducts master class media training and it creates content.

#reImagineGH2017: stories, standards, sex – the DIGITAL world featured panelists Kwame Acheampong – Deputy Editor of StarrFMOnline and Efo Dela – Blogger, Poet and Satirist, as well as Nana Ama Agyemang Asante. The keynote speaker was Anita Erskine of Starr FM. The format was an organized mix of interview, panel discussion, keynote and Q&A. It took place at Webster University Ghana Campus, where Esther Armah is a Communications Lecturer. The university is distinguishing itself in Ghana as one that is innovative and groundbreaking in the world of communications.

Christa Sanders, Campus Director of Webster Ghana celebrated the Ghana media summit and highlighted that Webster University Ghana campus was the home of communications innovation, academic brilliance and creating global citizens.