GOVERNMENT has commended media practitioners in the country for helping to develop a vibrant media landscape to help check its activities.
Minister for Communications, Dr. Edward Omane Boamah,speaking at this year’s World Press Freedom Day celebration in Accra on Tuesday, emphasised: ‘We must indeed congratulate ourselves for making this significant progress in media development, especially when we beat giants such as the USA and the UK to it. We in Ghana are proud of our achievements as a democratic nation.’
Making reference to the 2015 World Press Freedom Index ranking, compiled annually by Paris-based ‘Reporters Without Borders’, he said Ghana moved up five places to the 22nd position out of 180 countries and it is second behind Namibia in Africa.
‘I am told this is the highest position we have ever attained on the global rankings,’ he stressed.
The World Press Freedom Day, celebrated on May 3, every year, was established by the United Nations to acknowledge media pluralism and press freedom since these are essential ingredients for national development. The global theme for this year’s celebration is ‘Towards Better Reporting, Gender Equality, & Media Safety in the Digital Age‘.
Dr Omane Boamah gave credit to the media in Ghana for reflecting a beautiful mix of gender.
‘You must not only sustain and improve on this achievement but also decide purposefully to be thicker on issues relating to gender in your reportage.’
He cautioned against the speed with which people put out information on social media without caring to cross-check their facts and figures.
‘I am also referring to the indecent haste with which reputable media houses, traditional/conventional pick such information and publish them as the gospel truth without cross-checking.’
Noting that the greatest threat to Press Freedom could come from authoritarian regimes, he said government was desirous to pass the Right to Information Bill to help improve the free flow of information which is critical to good governance and above all, raise the quality of reporting and help reduce speculative journalism.
‘This year we shall endeavour to ensure that proceeds from the TV License Fees will be equitably distributed among the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation, the National Media Commission and the Ghana Independent Broadcasters Association.
‘Cabinet has also decided that the Film Industry benefits from the TV License Fees because in a digital world content is as good as the numerous broadcasting houses that will proliferate once we migrate from analogue television broadcasting to digital.’
The Minister called also for the protection and safety of media practitioners at all times.
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