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July 23rd, 2019 / Alliance for Science, US

Journalists and scientists are urging African media to consider the “national interest” when reporting on genetically modified organisms (GMOs) to help guide the continent’s debate on the technology.

Affail Monney, president of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA), said it is not enough for the media to be conveyer belts of anti- and pro-GMO information.

“Ours is to take a middle ground and sieve the issues through our journalistic lenses and present the issues as they are, having listened to both sides… So that is where our journalistic expertise should come in,” he told the Alliance for Science after a panel discussion in Accra on media coverage of GMOs.  “It’s not enough to parrot what both sides will tell us for and against… We need to listen to both sides. And then, we have editorial pieces and opinion pieces… We take a position guided purely by the national interest.”

His comments followed concerns voiced by some scientists that the media have often times allowed fearmongering and misinformation on the technology to go unchallenged, creating doubts about GMOs in the minds of citizens. Read more …