The Ashanti Regional Chairperson of the Electoral Commission of Ghana, Mr. Serebour Quaicoo has reiterated the need for journalists to understand the electoral process to avoid misinforming the public which could subsequently lead to chaos.
Speaking at the launch of Penplusbytes and EIB Network “Voter’s count, Amplifying voices through new digital platforms” project in Kumasi, Mr. Quaicoo used the example of a spoilt ballot not being the same as a rejected ballot to buttress his earlier submission. He also outlined some efforts the EC had put in place to ensure elections 2016 is free, fair and transparent.
The launch of the project preceded a 3-day training event for 15 selected journalists from the northern belt of Ghana on the use of data journalism for elections reporting in Kumasi.
Also present at the gathering was the Ashanti regional Police Commander, COP Kofi Boakye, who made it clear that, no security agency can win this year’s elections for any political party and so citizens should avoid politicizing crime. “We are neutral as Ghana Police and we do not support any political party”, he said.
He was quick to add that the police needed to be trained in such areas as well to be able to understand the intricacies on the use of data. He finally urged journalists to work hand-in-hand with the police to foster good reportage on the elections and make it peaceful.
Other dignitaries present at the event were the Paramount Chief of Kokofu, Nana Owusu Ampong Kani Ampaame and the Ashanti Regional Chief Imam, Abdul Kadril Mumin. They all admonished the journalists to be cautious, objective and responsible while reporting on the Elections.
Penplusbytes in partnership with EIB Network with support from USA Embassy in Ghana is implementing the “Voter’s Count – amplifying voices through new digital platforms” project which seeks to keep citizens informed and engaged on political campaign issues to enable them make informed decisions at the polls while strengthening Ghana’s credentials as a beacon of democracy in the sub-region.
This training is the first of two sets to be organized for 30 selected journalists from across the country to particularly strengthen their skills and help leverage their knowledge and experience for improved issues coverage of Ghana’s 2016 general elections.