Information Minister’s advice good for journalistic competition

Yesterday, the Minister of Information, Kojo OppongNkrumah, came to the New Times Corporation (NTC) on a working visit and as expected certain issues were raised by him.

The Ghanaian Times wishes to comment on one of the issues.

The minister admonished the NTC to chart a path in the digital and online space so it does not become obsolete in the fast-evolving andincreasingly-competitive medialandscape.

“You have to get aggressive in the online and digital space. Though your content may still be the best, if you don’t take advantage of today’s technology and get ahead of the curve in the online and digital space, you will be overtaken by those with the leadership in that space,”he said.

While the paper cannot speak for the minister, the Ghanaian Times believes that the admonition does not go for the NTC alone but also all media houses.

Although currently it would sound very strange to learn that there is a media house that does not rely on digital facilities, it is not impossible that some media channels are sluggish and also irresponsible in the use of such facilities.

A media house would be deemed sluggish if it is not keen on using information from digital sources however credible. The irresponsible ones are those channels that use intemperate language or churn out misinformation.

Today, social media has become a source of news such that media houses that effectively monitor this platform get information worthy of news even though it may not be presented in acceptable journalistic structure.

Any aggressive media house should know that social media and online portals are sourcesof news that cannot be discounted because if for nothing at all, they can provide leads to very good news stories.

What is important is for any responsible media house to stick to its own ethical and other standards, including design, to present the news to the public in a decent way.

The minister’s advice also means that if a media house becomes irresponsible and fails to uphold standards, it would lose readership or audience and the result would be getting out of business.

Efficiently and effectively relying on digitisation and online portals has other benefits that cannot be discounted.

It ensures timely access to information that can aid fast operations.

It can also help in cross-checking information so the media house can settle on the accurate piece for use.

Also, sincethe competition on the media landscape grows deeper by the day, employing the digital facilities helps the media house to sustain itself and be alive in business.

The Ghanaian Times believes a very good analysis of the minister’s advice to NTC  can bring out other views that can help journalistic practice in our dear country for our media practitioners to be accepted in the global journalism space.

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