Information Ministry evaluates media support programme
The Ministry of Information has held a stakeholders’ review forum to evaluate the success of the ministry’s media support programmes introduced in 2019.
The forum also discussed the impact and implementation mechanisms of the programmes to strategise and ensure their sustainability.
The support programmes are aimed at bolstering the media industry’s capabilities to address critical issues.
They focus on media capacity enhancement, coordinated mechanism on the safety of journalists, mobilising industry support through global partners and campaigns to combat misinformation.
The forum was on the theme: "Assessing the impact of the media support programmes.”
Heads of media organisations, professionals, executive of the Ghana Journalists Association, Ghana Independent Broadcasters Association, the Media Foundation for West Africa, Media training institutions and media owners, among others, participated in the forum.
The Minister of Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, said the mandate of the ministry went beyond acting as the mouthpiece of the government, as it also supported the public communications ecosystem in the country.
The media, he added, was also a major player in the democracy and governance system in the country.
Participants in the meeting
“Unfortunately, while we in this sector like to focus on other sectors, we hardly make time to examine, collaborate on and push the agenda of our sector forward,” he said.
The minister explained that the media support programmes were designed after identifying some key issues within the sector, including the safety of journalists, capacity of journalists and combating misinformation and disinformation.
He said his outfit was committed to institutionalising the programme with the support of stakeholders as “no single individual or group in this sector can on their own tackle the issues we face”.
The Chief Director of the ministry, Charlotte Morgan-Asiedu, also said that the media was relevant because “it actually serves as a cornerstone of democracy since it facilitates free flow of information, fosters public discourse and enhances transparency”.
She said that the implementation of the support programme would also contribute to the enhancement of professional and ethical journalism, empower media organisations and also promote media literacy among citizens.
The Dean of the School of Information and Communications Studies at the University of Ghana, Prof. Audrey Gadzekpo, called for reforms and increased stakeholder collaboration to address issues affecting the media.
She said there was the need to combat disinformation and misinformation which, if not tackled, could affect the democracy and development of the nation.
Prof. Gadzekpo advised journalists and media organisations to develop a strong culture of authenticating the sources of their information before publishing them to avoid misinforming the public.
The Director-General of the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC), Prof. Amin Alhassan, said capacity-building programmes for media practitioners should target specific needs of media houses.
It was also revealed that less than 100 journalists had so far received training under the media enhancement programme since its establishment in 2019.
A broadcasting monitoring centre, a specialised centre tasked with the responsibility of regulating offensive media content, had also received 120 complaints from the public in less than a week of its establishment.
Although the cases were yet to be determined, the centre was working towards ruling on the complaints within a 30-day mandate.
The centre is the initiative of the National Media Commission (NMC) and the National Communication Authority (NCA) as part of efforts to sanitise broadcasting content in the country.