The Overlord of the Asante Kingdom, Otumfuor Osei Tutu II, has appealed to the media in the country to ensure that the unity and stability of the country is preserved at all times in the delivery of their duty as professionals.
According to the him, the media has an important role to play in the shaping of the minds and emotions of the public with their reportage and therefore the need to be circumspect in their reportage devoid of bias and misrepresentation of facts.
The Asantehene made the remarks at the maiden edition of the Media Capacity Enhancement Programme (MCEP) ongoing in the capital of the Ashanti region, Kumasi. With Manhyia playing host to programme, the opening ceremony of the weeklong training programme was held at the forecourt of the palace to signify the importance of this initiative to the well-respected Asante King.
The ceremony had representation from the various media related professional groups and associations collaborating with the Ministry of Information on the media training programme including: the Ghana Journalist Association (GJA); the Private Newspaper and Online News Publishers Association (PRINPAG); the Ghana Independent Broadcasters Association (GIBA); and the Institute of Public Relations (IPRGh).
The US Ambassador to Ghana, Madam Stephane S. Sullivan; the Ashanti Regional Minister, Simon Osei Mensah; as well as some sub-chiefs in the Asante Kingdom were in attendance of the very animated ceremony at the palace.
The Media Capacity Enhancement Program being organized under the auspices of the Ministry of Information in collaboration with the various media associations in the country is meant to enhance the existing knowledge base, skills set, and qualitative output of media personnel in nation building.
The Minister for Information, Hon. Kojo Oppong Nkrumah on his part, stressed that “The media, which is designed to play a very critical role in our national life cannot be left to its own devices in what has become a highly competitive ecosystem…The need to support stakeholders in the industry to regularly train practicing journalists so their capacity is enhanced in the area of ethics, professionalism, media law, impact journalism, use of digital tools and investigative journalism.”
The President of the Ghana Journalist Association, Dr. Affail Monney observed that the initiative couldn’t have come at a better time than this when the media fraternity is facing some credibility challenges.
“It is trite knowledge that the Enhancement Programme is happening at a time when confidence in the media is on the wane, and perpetration of mediocrity, on the rise. In terms of professional standards, many journalists are stuffed to the gills, others are rotten to the core. While some display innovative spark and distinctive qualities, many operate in stagnant pools which reflect hackneyed styles and immanent output.
“The finest opportunity, therefore, beckons to move the paradigm and change the narrative of journalism practice in Ghana. More specifically, the training series is expected to sharpen the reportorial flair, editorial craftsmanship, analytical power, and creative thinking of the participants so that they will not only operate to make a living, they will also be living to make a difference”, Mr. Monney said.
The President of PRINPAG Mr. Edwin Arthur appealed to government to consider placing advertisements in private media in order to withstand the competition.
“It is the prayer of PRINPAG that, while paying attention to enhancing our intellectual capability to perform better as media practitioners, we also pay attention to the business aspects of the media, and here, may I suggest that, the government, through the Ministry of Information should consider coming up with a media policy to ensure equitable distribution of state sponsored adverts among all media organizations irrespective of perceived political inclinations, in view of the fact that, it constitutes a lifeline to the survival of media organizations in the country”, he said.
Source: Clement Akoloh||africanewsradio.com