A Legal Practitioner and Academician, Dr Nana Oppong has proposed that Ghanaian journalists be treated same as judges in the country.
He has therefore called on journalists to push for reforms to recognize them their due status as the fourth realm of the estate.
“There must be an amendment to the Constitution of the Republic of Ghana to make sure that it is not lip service anymore when you say journalists are the fourth estate in the realm. Journalists, I propose must be treated of the same level as judges in Ghana,” he said.
“There must be an amendment of the 1992 constitution of Ghana and of the laws of Ghana in order to recognize and to protect professional journalism as an essential national service for democracy similar to the way we treat the judiciary”.
According to him, journalists in the country continue to suffer same abuse which claimed the life of the renowned journalist and until such reforms were pushed for the development would linger.
“Unless we take care, what happened to Ahmed can happen to another journalist in Ghana. But God forbid! So, in mourning his passing and calling on the authorities to find the perpetrators of Ahmed’s murder, we must resolve to let this occasion serve as a catalyst for permanent and sustainable reforms in journalism in Ghana.
“We must resolve to make the changes that would protect the lives of journalists and of the health of journalism itself in Ghana. Ahmed’s death can and must inspire us to commit to a new way of thinking about journalism in Ghana”.
He said Ahmed Suale’s death should pave the way for the Ghanaian journalists to rally for new opportunities which would offer them the protection to carry on their duties without intimidation.
“Ladies and gentlemen, we have the opportunity on this occasion to flip the tragedy of Ahmed’s death into opportunity. We have the opportunity to let Ahmed’s death move us to reasoned and effective actions that would protect journalists in Ghana.
Dr Nana Oppong also recommended among other things a Defenders of Public Interest Act (DOPIA, a law to provide special security, targeted training, compensation and financial support to professional journalists and their families, especially, those engaged in sensitive assignments and investigations of national interest.
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