Under the program which will kick start in May, forty media houses comprising 25 radio stations, 10 newspapers and 5 news websites will be monitored over a seven month period on their adherence to ethics of media practice.
Explaining the concept, Executive Director of the Media Foundation for West Africa, Suleimana Braimah told rawgist.com, the exercise is to draw the attention of the media to issues of violations of media freedom and to build the confidence of the populace in the media.
He pointed out that the project is to bridge gap of media professionalism which is not being critically addressed by regulatory bodies in the nations media frame work.
According to Mr. Braimah, “though there are various dimensions in improving professional standards, people will always like to talk about capacity building, the need to incentivize or remunerate journalists well and the need for policies to regulate media work but the issues of ethical violations is also a very important area which for a very long time I think has not received considerable attention.”
He cautioned that danger for neglecting standards in journalistic practice could be detrimental to the profession as “the credibility and trust that people have for the media, will begin to dwindle and people will begin to support any attempt to introduce new policies or legislation that will virtually result in repressing the media and curtail media freedom”.
Mr. Braima announced that reports on the performance of the selected media houses will be released on a monthly basis from June and discussed by stakeholders and the results published and gazetted into a media guide material.