Ministry, NMC, stakeholders move to ensure safety of journalists

The Ministry of Information has said it is working closely with the National Media Commission (NMC) and other key actors in the media space on a number of interventions, aimed at safeguarding media freedom and safety of journalists in the country.

The sector minister, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, announced that one of such measures was the establishment of the Coordinated Mechanism, which was directed to achieve results of interventions.

He said these included regular training for state and non-state actors on the safety of journalists and the need to ensure that journalists and media practitioners were not harmed when carrying out their duties or mandate.

The minister explained that the coordinated mechanism was also meant to provide annual accountability platforms for reported infringement concerning the safety of journalists and validate such infringements.

Mr Oppong Nkrumah, who appeared before Parliament, was responding to a question asked by Francis -Xavier Sosu, Member of Parliament (MP) for Madina, who wanted to know measures being taken to safeguard media freedom guaranteed under the 1992 Constitution.

The minister said pursuant to provision in the 1992 Constitution, which established the NMC to ensure the freedom and independence of the media, the commission in collaboration with the Ministry of Information inaugurated the Office of the Coordinated Mechanism on the Safety of Journalists in May 2021, with the mandate to protect journalists.

He said the NMC working with other stakeholders has developed a framework for implementation of the Coordinated Mechanism with the aim of providing guidelines to the National Coordinating Committee on the Safety of Journalists.

Mr Oppong Nkrumah said the framework also proposed a multi-stakeholder platform groups from amongst journalists’ associations, representatives of the Executive, Legislature and Judiciary, the three arms of government, media development partners, civil society organisations and journalism training institutions.

He said institutions of state with focus on peace building, arbitration and civic education such as National Peace Council and National Commission for Civic Education formed part of the framework.

BY LAWRENCE MARKWEI

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