Ghana Journalist Association Code of Ethics
THE GJA CODE OF ETHICS
In 1994, the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) developed and adopted its Code of Ethics, which has served the Association well throughout the period. However, with the proliferation of media types, it has become necessary to revise the Code to meet the new challenges that have emerged in the intervening years.
The challenges include the impact of media pluralism and diversity, and the sheer numbers of radio and television stations across the country. Meanwhile, the emergence of new media forms has further exacerbated the situation.
One critical objective of this revised Code of Ethics is to take cognizance of all ethical breaches that have been identified in the practice of journalism in the country. Some of the breaches include hoax stories, April Fool Day pranks, fabrications, publishing stories without sourcing or authentication, and presenting advertisements and promotional materials as news.
It is expected that this Code will encompass all the challenges across the traditional, new media, social media and cross media as far as newsgathering, processing and dissemination are concerned. It is our considered view that this effort will inevitably promote accountability, build trust and add value to the output of journalism and media organizations, and raise the image of the profession.
As with the development and production of the 994 Code, Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES Ghana) supported this review as well.
•The GJA Code of Ethics is a ready guide that is applicable to all categories of journalists working with newspapers, radio, television, cross media/multimedia, online media, new media, social media or those working as photo-journalists, cartoonists, and animation specialists.
•The Code is meant to ensure that members of the Ghana Journalists Association adhere to the highest ethical standards, professional competence, and good behaviour in carrying out their duties.
•The Code provides a frame of reference to the National Executive, the Ethics and Disciplinary Council, and members of the Association when it becomes necessary to initiate disciplinary action against any member who flouts any article of the Code.
•As an indispensable institution, the mass media is expected to undertake the surveillance of all activities and actors in the society as well as to inculcate in the citizens—agreed values, a sense of purpose, and support for meeting the nation’s socio-economic and cultural development goals. The performance of the media should also ensure the preservation of law and order and provide the platform for free expression for all citizens, and not only the privileged few. This should be done with a high sense of responsibility without infringing on the rights of individuals and the society in general.