Election 2024: EC chair courts journalists’ support to sustain democracy, security


…as GJA celebrates media practitioners

Ahead of the much-anticipated 2024 presidential and parliamentary elections, journalists have been urged to stick to best practices and uphold fact-checking to sustain the country’s democracy and security.

Chairperson-Electoral Commission, Jean Mensah, while delivering the keynote address at the 27th Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) awards in Accra, emphasised the media’s role is key in ensuring stability – and that should not be compromised.

She beckoned the media to work with other state agencies seeking to maintain security, adding that: “It behoves media practitioners to be responsible in the discharge of their duties during the period, to safeguard the nation’s democracy and national security.

“As we go to the polls in December 2024, it is important you bear in mind that media freedom, while sacrosanct, does not equate to freedom to deceive. You should rise and take up your roles as custodians of the truth. You are duty-bound to do so.

“The exercise of your power and freedom in the lead-up to the 2024 elections could potentially make or break our nation’s cohesion. This is a sobering truth. The 2024 elections will be more than a democratic exercise, they will be a test of our nation’s resilience.

“That said, do note that we at the Electoral Commission are not above scrutiny. Scrutinise and critique our work as your role requires, but do so objectively. Criticism laced with insults and falsehood should be beneath you,” she said.

The 27th GJA Awards were held under the theme ‘Leveraging Media Freedom to Sustain the Democratic and Security Architecture: The Litmus Test of 2024 Elections’.

Speaking on the theme, Minister of Information Kojo Oppong Nkrumah applauded the media’s efforts – admonishing the need to refrain from misinformation and disinformation so as not to ruin the profession’s status. 

He pledged resolute support to ensure journalists have freedom to operate.

Democracy must be protected, nurtured

The United States of America’s Ambassador to Ghana, Virginia Palmer, in her address reiterated that the country’s democracy ought to be nurtured and protected.

She also commends the media for ensuring that authorities are accountable, stressing that the media’s role in ensuring protection of democracy cannot be underestimated.

She therefore condemned the persisting harassment and attacks on journalists, urging that more be done to protect them and ensure press freedom.

Journalists’ welfare

Within a span of five years (2019 – 2023), the GJA has recorded 45 cases of assault on media practitioners and institutions. This means nine such attacks occur every year. So far in 2023, 12 attacks have been recorded…. far more than the annual average of nine.

President-Ghana Journalists Association, Albert Kwabena Dwumfour, made this known in his address and called the three arms of the state and other institutions which have country’s democracy and security at heart to help address this impunity against the media.

“We cannot allow the attacks against media practitioners and institutions to continue. We will fight back fiercely against such attacks,” he said, urging media practitioners and institutions to be very professional in the discharge of their duties.

“We will not shield or provide cover for deviants of professionalism. In the coming days or weeks, we’ll roll out a monitoring mechanism – based on which we will call out media practitioners and institutions which lower the bar of professionalism,” he added.

He further appealed for government through the Ministry of Information and private media organisation owners to enhance journalists’ working conditions, saying: “Poor remuneration for journalists impacts our standing on the press freedom index”.

On the election, he said: “The internal contests in the two major political parties are clear indication that next year’s general elections may compromise integrity of the country’s democracy and security. But we believe the media can play a critical role in stalling the storm and steering the nation away from any calamity the elections may pose”.


About 30 awards were presented on the night, with Erastus Asare Donkor of Joy News, Joy FM, and Luv FM emerging as Journalist of the Year for his work on the devastating effects of illegal mining that has ignited national conversation.

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