ABL supports World Press Freedom Day

Mr. deGraft-Johnson

Mr. deGraft-Johnson

Accra Brewery Limited (ABL), on Wednesday, May 3 joined the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) to commemorate World Press Freedom Day in Accra.

The company also presented a cheque for GHȻ10, 000 to the GJA.

A statement released in Accra said the gesture was in recognition of ABL’s support for press freedom and high journalistic standards in the country.

It said the company had been part of the annual celebration for the past nine years ago.

The statement said ABL provides annual assistance towards the GJA awards and sponsors the award for the Best Reporter in the Arts and Entertainment category.

Speaking at the flag-raising ceremony, the statement said Corporate Affairs Manager of ABL, Cyrus deGraft-Johnson commended the media for its invaluable contribution to the socio-cultural and economic development in the country.

“We in the business sector have a symbiotic relationship with the media. We need credible and accurate information to enable us take certain decisions and the media also needs interesting facts and figures from us to inform the public,” Mrs deGraft-Johnson said.

While encouraging the GJA and its members to uphold the tenets of ethical and professional journalism, it reaffirmed the company’s commitment to working within the regulatory and legal framework.

According to the statement, Mr. deGraft-Johnson was concerned that the Right to Information Bill was yet to be passed by Parliament , notwithstanding  advocacy by business and civil society groups, adding  that, “We at ABL therefore join business, civil society organisations and all well-meaning Ghanaians in a collective effort to get the Freedom of Information Law and the Broadcasting Law passed. We are hopeful that the assurances from the Information Minister Mustapha Hamid and the leadership of Parliament will see the light of day before this year ends.”

 Mr deGraft-Johnson said:  ‘‘When ratified, the Right to Information Law will provide the legal and ethical framework, setting the ground rules to guide the numerous traditional media outlets on how to conduct the business of information gathering and dissemination.’’

 He appealed to stakeholders to help widen the scope of the legal regime to include social media, which, albeit unregulated, is fast becoming the new norm and the platforms of choice for mass communication.

Observed on May 3 every year, the World Press Freedom Day presents stakeholders in the media the opportunity to reflect and evaluate the fundamental principles of press freedom around the world, defend the media from attacks on their independence whilst paying tribute to journalists who lost their lives in the line of duty.

The statement said ABL had in recent years revamped its production processes with the completion of a USD100million expansion project.

ABL has over the years also introduced innovative beverages and shown commitment to the best practices in its manufacturing processes by placing emphasis on conserving water as well as reducing energy use and waste reduction.

The company has embarked on numerous community support initiatives across the country including campaigns in schools against under-age drinking and in hospitals on the negative effect of alcohol during pregnancy.


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