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Speaker launches 70th anniversary celebration of Graphic Communications Group

The 70th anniversary of the Graphic Communications Group Limited (GCGL) was yesterday launched in Accra by the Speaker of Parliament, Professor Mike Oquaye.

Established in the Gold Coast as a private business in 1950 by the Daily Mirror Group of Britain, the Graphic Group Limited was named the West African Graphic Company.

The Company appointed Mr Martin Therson-Cofie, a Ghanaian, as the first editor of the Daily Graphic and later The Sunday Mirror which is now the Mirror.

Professor Oquaye in a keynote address, urged the Graphic brand to continue to sustain its reputation as an authoritative newspaper which source of reportage is credible and objective to Ghanaians both home and abroad.

He said maintaining such a credibility was imperative in view of the fact that, the current Ghanaian media terrain has become so engrossed with sensationalism journalism to the extent that it has become very difficult to decipher the truth from the lies.

The Speaker said this when he delivered a keynote address at the launch of the 70th Anniversary of the Graphic Communications Group Limited flagship newspaper, the Daily Graphic, in Accra yesterday.

The event was attended by dignitaries from the academia,businessmen, industrialists, the media, the leadership of the Industrial and Commercial Workers Union and retired top management staff of the company among others.

Prof Oquaye said the way sensationalism has eaten into the fabric of Ghanaian society with most of the discussions focusing on politics has created the assumption that the nation was a political field with nothing more to discuss.

He said the Graphic brand in this challenging time has stood up for the truth by being neutral and objective in ensuring that properly verified news reportage covering all spheres of life were the only issues the paper will carry.

The Speaker said, though such a stance was perceived to affect circulation of the paper because it was the belief that sensationalism sells, Graphic has remained tall amongst its peers and has rather become the source of credible news reports.

He said this has made Graphic a forerunner in nation building and development through responsible journalism saying, “One way to build a nation is not a matter of selling your newspaper “.

Prof Oquaye said although the paper started with a lot of many private newspapers, prudent management with focus on remaining as a commercial entity despite being wholly owned by the government has become the hallmark of the paper which independence was undisputed and unwavering

The Managing Director of Graphic Communications Group Limited, Mr Ato Afful, in a welcome speech said in the current way of doing business,especially,in the media terrain,there was the need to do rethinking and modelling to meet the new threats confronting the industry.

He said the 70th Anniversary could not mean that,the brand Graphic has arrived at its destination but rather reached an era where a solid foundation has been built for a progressive trajectory.

Mr Afful reiterated that the paper would be committed to promoting the truth and accuracy which were the tenets on which the company’s principles of doing business was built.

He said in that direction the focus would be on building the capacity of the staff,especially,the journalists for them to become adventurous,daring and creative in their work to propel the brand to another level successes in the coming years.

 Prof Kwame Karikari, Board Chair of the Graphic Group said the Graphic brand traversed both pre and post-independence era to become one of the newspapers which had influenced Ghana’s political terrain in a positive way.

Prof Karikari wh chaired the function said since then the paper had sustained professional approach to journalism which has made the paper one of the most credible for its readers in the entire country and across the globe.

BY LAWRENCE MARKWEI

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