Accra Flood Disaster Reportage

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…..Media Impinged On Cultural Values, Aesthetic Decency, And Individual Private Spheres________________________________________

Media reportage on the Accra flood on June 3, 2015 impinged on cultural values, aesthetic decency and private sphere of the flood victims.

The Media must be commended for her public trust role in informing the general public of the flood disaster. However, in disseminating the disaster content, and managing the challenges of ethical dilemmas, the media failed to uphold cultural values, aesthetic decency and the private sphere of victims as enshrined in the National Media Commission (NMC)’s Media Guidelines and Ghana Journalists Association (GJA)’s Code of Ethics.

According to the NMC’s Print Media Guidelines on Grief (7.2a, page7) and on Photographs (12a, pag.11) “The Press must show compassion and be sensitive at such times” and also the “Press must be circumspect in using graphic pictures of tragedies so as not to contribute to the pain of victims and bereaved”. Similarly, the GJA Codes of Ethics (Article 5, page2) enjoins its members to “Respect the right of the individual, the privacy and the human dignity”

Journalist as stewards of public’s trust, are encouraged to avoid extreme sensational stories and pictures in disaster reporting.

The Centre for Media Analysis (CMA) is therefore urging the media to uphold our collective responsibility of abiding by the NMC’s Media Guidelines and GJA’s Codes of Ethics. The Media is also urged to adopt self-cultural censorship in order to achieve aesthetic decency, respect of private spheres, and respect of cultural sensibilities during disasters.

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