Rural Media Network (RUMNET), a development communication Non-Governmental Organization based in Tamale, has held a day’s training workshop on strategic communication and ethical campaigning for some political party communicators in the Northern Region.
The workshop was to help reinforce the capacities the political party communicators on ensuring violence-free election campaign and voting, in the upcoming December 7, 2020, general elections.
Representatives of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), the National Democratic Congress (NDC), the Convention People’s Party (CPP) and the People’s National Convention (PNC) attended the workshop.
Mr Kassim Perez, the Executive Director of RUMNET, in an interview with the Ghana News Agency, said it was typical of political party communicators to use foul and provocative language, particularly on radio, in their bid to outshine one another in their political campaign and discourse.
He said some listeners and youth, who support the parties to which the communicators belong, adopt their stance and peddle the same propaganda and untruths to the unsuspecting public, which sometimes result in violence.
“The usually biased and unconfirmed claims by some of the communication officers on radio and television instigate some followers to engage in uninformed arguments and eventually unleash violence against their political opponents as well as unfortunate electorates,” he said.
Mr Perez said it was based on this that RUMNET organised the training to give the party communicators the requisite knowledge and skills on constructive political discourse, debating skills and ethical campaigning.
He said communicators played a crucial role in shaping the opinion of the party supporters through their command on issues about elections on the media and therefore had a huge responsibility for what they say and broadcast.
RUMNET is a member of the Coalition for Peaceful Elections and Development (COPED), a coalition aimed at harnessing diverse competencies and logistics for peace-building and development programming in Ghana.
Other Members of COPED include West Africa Network for Peace-building, Ghana (WANEP) and the Institute for Peace and Governance (IPEG).
COPED, is presently implementing a project dubbed: “Youth and Media Skills for Peaceful Election 2020 (YAMS4PEACE) Project.
The project, funded by STAR-Ghana Foundation, is aimed at addressing political vigilantism and election-related violence in Ghana.
RUMNET’s role in the project is to reinforce the capacities of political party communicators and foot-soldiers in strategic political communication for violence-free election campaign and voting.