The Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) says it is considering a joint police-journalist training to deal with attacks on media personnel.
Sulemana Braimah, The Executive Director for the MFWA, also a media rights and practice crusader in West Africa,, said growing attacks on journalists is bad for media development and democracy.
“I think one of the things that police have said, which we are considering quite seriously, is the fact that we need to educate both the police and the media on the operational principles of the police when it comes to particularly crowd control or public order management,” he said.
He made the comment on MultiTV’s current affairs programme, PM Express, on Thursday on the back of recent attacks on media workers.
The discussion between Mr Braimah and host of the programme, Nana Ansah Kwao IV, focused on issues raised at the just ended 2018 World Press Freedom Day which was held at the Kempinski Hotel on May 2 and 3.
The two-day event brought together over 900 journalists from different parts of the world to discuss topical issues facing the media. The theme was ‘Keeping Power in Check: Media, Justice and The Rule of Law’.
Attacks on media in their line of work came up strongly as one of the challenges to press freedom.
In Ghana, there are growing incidents of police brutalities against media personnel during demonstrations or crowd control situations.
A brutal assault on Joy News’ Latif Iddris by a group of police officers at the Headquarters of the Police CID, while he was covering the arrest of National Democratic Congress’ Deputy General Secretary, Koku Anyidoho on March 27 has been condemned widely.
Sulemana Braimah believes the trend of attacks must stop.
“It is also important to educate the police on the operational practice of the media so that they will also know that although [they] are doing crowd control [or] public order management, the media also want their news…I think once we are able to do that it will help improve the relationship between the media the police,” he said.