The Executive Director of the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA), Mr. Sulamana Braimah has revealed that licensing journalists will suppress press freedom in the country, ABC News Ghana can report.
The comments by the Media Foundation for West Africa Director are on the back of calls by a section of Ghanaians for the proper licensure of Journalism to among other things, curb the spread of fake news and encourage proper journalism.
Former President J. A. Kufour had earlier appealed to the leadership of the Ghana Journalists Association at the launch of the 70th Anniversary of the GJA to consider the licensing of professionals in the industry. In an address at the ceremony, the former President said the licensing of journalists will help curtail the high disrespect for the profession. In his view, the media has in the past churned out fine and very prestigious practitioners, hence the need to, at this critical point in time, protect the sanctity of the profession.
But commenting on the call by the former president in a radio interview monitored by ABC News Ghana, the Executive Director of the MFWA said embracing the call by the former President will only suppress press freedom. He likened the situation to Ghana trading press freedom for licensing of journalists, something he believes, will not be in the best interest of the media fraternity.
“People mainly espouse that idea thinking it will improve media practice. However, researches done by many individuals and other countries who want to embrace the idea have revealed that licensing journalists will compromise the freedom necessary to fight against bribery and corruption. A lot of questions come up when the case is made for journalists to be licensed; like, which institution will be mandated to determine whether one fits to be licensed or not,” Mr. Braimah explained.