GCGL commits to partner Parliament ... To advance Ghana’s democracy
The Editor, Graphic, Theophilus Yartey, has expressed the commitment of the Graphic Communications Group Limited (GCGL) to work closely with Parliament to advance Ghana’s democracy.
He said given Parliament’s important role in protecting and preserving the country’s democracy, the company would lend its fullest support to the legislature to discharge its role.
“As one of the arms of government, you are the bulwark of our democracy and as a company, we are committed to supporting you to move the nation together and build on our democracy,” he said.
Bulwark of our democracy
Speaking during an engagement with the Director of Media Relations of Parliament, David Sebastian Damoah, in his office in Accra yesterday, Mr Yartey said while democracy promoted the respect for human rights and development, it was the efforts of the legislature that kept the nation united.
“Everywhere in the world where there is democracy, there is respect for human rights and there is always development.
“But it takes Parliament to move a nation together as it is a representation of the entire country.
As a company, we take Parliament and the stories that come from there seriously.
“We are committed to publishing on the front page of our newspapers, stories emanating from exclusive interviews with the leadership of both sides of the House on non-partisan national issues,” the Editor assured.
Mr Damoah, accompanied by his deputy, Dr Lawrence Kwarteng-Ahia, and other staff of the department had embarked on the visit to introduce himself, his staff and the department to the Editor and by extension, the editorial members.
The editorial members were the Political Editor, Albert Salia, and the Features Editor, Caroline Boateng.
They deliberated on how Parliament and the GCGL could work together to bring Parliament close to the doorstep of the public.
Speaker’s belief in GCGL
Mr Yartey noted that the GCGL had enjoyed a very solid relationship with Parliament, a relationship that found an expression in the Speaker of Parliament visiting the company this year.
“I do not remember the last time something of that nature happened; I think that this is the first time in recent history and this tells you the Speaker’s belief in the media and also in Graphic,” he said.
He said the company was mindful of its role as the “conscience and voice” of the nation and was thus committed to helping to shape public discussions on important national issues.
“We are mindful of that and we are also mindful of what we put out,” he stressed.
With most readers moving to the digital space, the Editor said the company had initiated measures to meet emerging digital content needs of readers of the company’s newspapers.
“We have built a television studio and are building a digital centre; we are doing a lot of engagement online just so we ensure that we do not lose our audience in the print and online space.
“We want to maintain our leadership position and we want to amplify our content to generate exclusive content and extend the shelf life of our content,” he said.
He added that: “We come with reputation and when it is Graphic, people take us seriously just as people take Parliament seriously”.
As a revamped department, Mr Damoah said the Media Relations Department of Parliament was embarking on a number of initiatives to enhance Parliament’s relations with the media in order to build a mutual relationship.
He mentioned some of them as the Editors’ forum where from time to time, a platform would be created to engage Editors and senior reporters on some activities of Parliament and also seek their input and guidance on how to improve the work of the legislature.
“We will also have the Speakers’ forum where the Speaker will interact with Editors and senior reporters to bring Parliament closer to media houses and reporters,” he said.
Open committee sittings
With the development of a new Standing Orders, he said Parliament would soon open up the sittings of various committees to the media to allow the press access to all the meetings of committees.
That, he said, would allow reporters to gain deeper insight into what happened at the committees’ level to shape their reportage which would not only be centred on what happened in the Chamber.
He assured the editorial team of the GCGL that Parliament was open for any collaboration to improve the working relationship between Parliament and the GCGL.