The media have been warned to prevent political interest groups from using their platforms to perpetuate violence that might undermine the peace and security of the country.
The National Media Commission (NMC) and the National Communication Authority (NCA) gave the warning at a joint press conference Thursday on media responsibility in the run-up to the 2016 polls.
The two communication regulatory bodies said they would not hesitate to sanction any media outlet who flouted laid down regulations or breached ethical codes governing media operations ahead of the elections.
“You have to ensure that your platforms are not used to incite violence and in all situations diligently and independently investigate all allegations and claims by interest groups before putting them out,” the NMC Chairman, Nana Kwesi Gyan-Appenteng, said.
He reminded frequency authorisation holders of their responsibility towards covering the 2016 presidential and parliamentary elections and the use of national recourses for public good.
“These obligations can be found under the terms of their broadcasting authorisations, the various guidelines of the NMC, the Code of Conduct of the Ghana Independent Broadcasters’ Association and the Code of Ethics of the Ghana Journalists Association,’’ he said.
The regulators also cautioned broadcasters against airing false news reports which have the tendency of escalating tension in the election period.
“We are aware of efforts by several institutions to foster an atmosphere of tolerance and peace,’’ Nana Gyan-Appenteng said.
The NMC and the NCA condemned acts of violence during elections because they threatened Ghana’s stability and diversity.
They also urged citizens to ensure judicious and responsible use of social media to promote peace.
Other stakeholders at the conference included Mr Eugene Baffoe-Bonnie, the Board Chairman of the NCA, Mr William Tevie, the Director General of NCA and Mr George Sarpong, the Executive Secretary of NMC.