The Chairman of the National Media Commission (NMC), Ambassador Kabral Blay-Amihere, has tasked the newly inaugurated board and the management of the New Times Corporation (NTC) to make staff welfare their topmost priority.
“Workers of New Times Corporation, in my view, have a genuine case to ask for improved conditions. New lines of activities and operations must be explored to enhance the revenue base of the corporation”, he said.
The NTC is the publisher of The Ghanaian Times and The Weekly Spectator.
Swearing in an eight-member Board of Directors for the corporation in Accra yesterday, Ambassador Blay-Amihere said morale among staff was bound to suffer they lacked some amenities their colleagues in other state-owned media enjoyed.
The board, chaired by Mrs. Rose-Margaret Kpodo, Managing Director of Makola Marketing Company, has a two-year mandate to improve the fortunes of the corporation and ensure its sustainability and independence from governmental control.
Other members of the board include Mr. Nicholas Kodzo Akyire, Mrs. Ivy Ruby Austin, Mr. Colins Benjamin Essamuah, Mr. Zakaria Tanko Musah, Mr. Danso-Aninkora Andrew, Mrs. Sheila Minkah-Premo and Ms. Carol Annang.
The NMC Chairman said the challenge that the new board, management and staff of the NTC faced was how to revive the fortunes of the corporation, and urged the three parties to “start discussions on what strategies must be taken collectively to make sure that both the Ghanaian Times and The Spectator become a newspaper of relevance and influence”.
He said in the journey of revival “that must be taken”, it was important that the board, the managing director and other management members, editors and the entire editorial staff worked in tandem, with the full knowledge that “everyone has a role to play in the renaissance of the NTC.”
The corporation, he said, would get back to where it really belonged when all persons associated with it, worked with common purpose and vision with the levels of responsibility clearly defined and known to all and sundry.
Mentioning the roles all concerned must play to the successful renaissance of the NTC, Ambassador Blay-Amihere said “by the authority of the 1992 constitution, nobody can interfere in the production of the news which is entirely the responsibility of the newsroom under editors”.
The constitutional provision insulating state-owned media from control, he said, should not be misinterpreted to mean “total hand off. They will have no reason of being here if that is indeed the policy” he said, reiterating the need for effective cooperation.
To him, the Managing Director (MD), whose contract made her the supervisor and coordinator of all the businesses and operations of the corporation, should lead the team to ensure that all obligations of the constitution were adhered to.
In his view, it was necessary that all state-owned media houses drew up in-house guidelines, guided by the provisions in the 1992 Constitution relating to the state owned-media, to serve as the benchmark to assess and evaluate how the media fared in regards to their constitutional obligations.
Mrs. Kpodo, in an acceptance speech read on their behalf, said the new board would endeavour to bring the transformation agenda drawn by the out-gone board into reality to make the NTC a credible, viable and sustainable business venture.
She assured management and staff that they would not seek their individual interests, but work in the interest of the organisation.
She called for the support of management and staff to enable the board to roll out policies to revamp the corporation.
The Managing Director of NTC, Ms. Carol Annang, assured of the determination of management to address the challenges facing the corporation.
By Julius Yao Petetsi