The Minister of Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, has called on the media to be circumspect in their reportage in order not to be seen as promoting any sectional interest against that of the state.
According to the Information Minister, just as it was not in the place of government to control the media, it was equally expected that the media would ensure circumspection when dealing with matters of national interest.
“As it is not in our place to lord or seek to control the media, neither is it expected that the media will use its privileges to misinform, attack or to pursue its parochial interest,” he reiterated.
Mr Nkrumah made the appeal at the official inauguration of the refurbished Press Centre for the Ministry of Information.
The facility which was in a deplorable state, was not only renovated but was also expanded and fitted with all the necessary equipment to bring the centre to internationally acceptable standards.
At the ceremony were the Chief of Staff, Mrs Akosua Frema Osei-Opare, the Minister for Inner Cities and Zongo Development, Dr Mustapha Abdul-Hamid, Fritz Baffour, a former Minister of Information, Chairman of the National Media Commission (NMC), Yaw Boadu-Ayeboafo and President of the Ghana Journalist Association (GJA), Affail Monney.
The minister who is also the Member of Parliament for the Ofoase Ayerebi Constituency in the Eastern Region, said government believed that it was important to create a comfortable space where state actors and the media could engage regularly.
However, he said these privileges must not be abused in anyway, stressing that “the following month we are going to rollout a couple more initiatives to further the exercise of deepening engagement between state actors and the media.”
Mr Nkrumah said government would continue to be open and decorous with its engagement with members of the media and expected that the media would reciprocate same.
“When we get it wrong, we will not hesitate to walk back and provide you with the necessary clarifications. When you get it wrong as well, we expect that you have the humility and integrity to say that we got it wrong and this is the correction,” he added.
Mr Nkrumah said it was the belief of his outfit that, if both the media and other state actors worked hand in hand, they could both achieve their mutual interest of making the nation great and strong.
On her part, Mrs Osei-Opare commended the ministry for taking the necessary steps to revamp the sector which was subsumed under the Ministry of Communication by the erstwhile John Mahama administration.
She said it was important that we recognized that The Ministry of Information was an important ministry in the governance structure as it had the important role of disseminating information to the citizenry.
Mrs Osei-Opare noted that, the government would continue to provide the needed resource to ensure that the ministry becomes not only vibrant but was equally able to properly disseminate government information on developmental policies.
She, therefore, called on the ministry to work towards revamping all its other agencies, including the Information Services Department, stressing that “I hope the reintroduction of the cinema vans for rural broadcast is on course?”
BY CLIFF EKUFUL