Eschew misleading reports on economy — Information Minister

BY: Maclean Kwofi
Mr. Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, Minister for Information
Mr. Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, Minister for Information

The Minister of Information, Mr Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, has appealed to media practitioners to eschew misleading reports about the country's economy, especially during this COVID-19 era.

The minister explained that such reportage if not curbed may drive away potential investors wishing to invest in the economy.

"The media employs the output of economic organisations, governments and companies in their coverage. How we report the aims, strategies and the evaluation of these policy interventions can fuel or distort the picture of and for the general public and in return become the new stimulus of how the economic actors, the general public and even the government further acts in this recovery cycle," Mr Nkrumah made the appeal at the Graphic Business/Stanbic Bank Breakfast Meeting on August 24, in Accra.

On the theme: "Media and Marketing Communications post Covid-19: A Catalyst for Socio-Economic Resurgence," the event brought together players in the private sector, policymakers and government officials to deliberate on how media and marketing communication can become the springboard for the revival and advancement of African businesses and economies in a post-COVID-19 era.

 Mr Kojo Akoi Larbi (middle), Manager, Communications, of Stanbic Bank Ghana, interacting with Mr Kojo Oppong Nkrumah (left), Minister of Information, and Mr Theophilus Yartey, Editor of Graphic Business. Picture: ESTHER ADJEI

Goodwill and support

The minister said for any set of interventions to be successful as had been observed, it must gain the goodwill and support of the people.

He said the key value drivers such as businesses and citizens would only support those recovery policies if they understood the aims, methods and the potential impact.

He stated that it meant policymakers must adopt broad-based, proactive, robust, nuanced and repetitive marketing communications strategies to get all aboard.

"But it also means media must reflect these realities to the people and complement this effort by helping the effort to rebuild genuinely, highlighting the shared responsibilities in rebuilding and the common benefits of its outcomes.

"That is what the history of recoveries tells us and that theory will most likely not change," he said.

Twin crisis

The minister said the pandemic had no doubt brought its twin crises. The health crisis which has threatened lives and the economic crisis which has threatened livelihoods.

“I recall from that fateful night in March 2020, when we recorded our first case and the journey we have traveled in containing the health crisis fairly well.

“In addition to the strong health-based interventions anchored on testing, tracing and treating, it has taken a lot of strong marketing communications and media support to get here.

“When the media stepped up to the plate and played their positive influencing role, focused heavily on reporting facts, focused heavily on getting properly accredited experts to do the analysis and amplified the robust marketing communications efforts of the government, the evidence is that together we have made laudable gains in our fight,” he added.