The Minister for Information, Mr Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, has reiterated the Ministry’s commitment to evaluating and enhancing government media support programmes.
Addressing stakeholders at a review forum to assess the impact of the media support programmes in Accra on Tuesday, he said the Ministry initiated the media support programmes to disabuse the minds of Ghanaians the Ministry’s role was just a mouthpiece of the government.
“Our mandate as a Ministry goes beyond this perception,” he stated, emphasising the critical role of supporting the public communications ecosystem in the country.
According to him, the support programmes were designed after identifying key issues within the media sector, including the safety of journalists, enhancing the capacity of journalists, containing egregious media content and combating misinformation and disinformation.
Mr Oppong Nkrumah posed critical questions to spur a review of the initiative’s visibility, implementation effectiveness, challenges, stakeholder buy-in and sustainability beyond the current administration.
Underscoring the vital role of Ghana’s media in democratic governance, he stressed the need for continued collaboration and collective effort to tackle lingering issues confronting the sector.
“No single individual or group can alone resolve the problems we face. Our cooperation will lead to success,” he affirmed.
On her part, the chairperson of the forum, Prof. Audrey Gadzekpo stressed the urgency of discussing strategies to retain trained media professionals.
She said it was necessary to have a comprehensive discussion around retention and the sustainability of media operations, reinforcing the vital linkage between the two.
On the need for a wider reach in training initiatives, Prof. Gadzekpo stated the disparities in training across different regions, stressing the need to equip all regions with enhanced training opportunities.
“Training in Accra is not sufficient; other regions require equal, if not more, attention,” she remarked.
She mentioned the need to combat disinformation and misinformation, drawing parallels to global concerns faced by nations such as the United States, underlining the urgency for Ghana to address this prevalent issue.
“The real problem is disinformation and I think all over the world, everybody is struggling,” she stated.
The Professor acknowledged the Right to Information Commission’s role but stressed the need for institutional culture change towards transparency.
Prof Gadzekpo called for increased collaboration, transparency, media literacy and urgent reforms to tackle concerns in Ghana’s media industry, reiterating that a significant advancement can be achieved through collaboration geared towards tackling the pressing issues affecting the media.
Stakeholders present at the forum include representatives from the National Media Commission (NMC), Ghana Journalists Association (GJA), Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA), Ghana Independent Broadcasters Association (GIBA), Private Newspapers Publishers Association of Ghana (PRINPAG) and University of Media, Arts and Communications (UNIMAC).
Others are the International Fund for Public Interest Media (IFPIM), United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) as well as Journalists and Editors from the various media houses.
Richard Aniagyei, ISD