Media urged to play watchdog role effectively
The media have been urged to play their watchdog role effectively by ensuring that institutions mandated to work towards the development of the country are up to the task.
The General Secretary of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), Fifi Kwetey, partly attributed the slow growth of the nation to weak institutions, some of which he said had become appendages of the government.
He was speaking during a courtesy call on the leadership of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) in Accra yesterday.
Mr Kwetey was accompanied by some members of the party who included its Communications Director, Kakra Essamuah, and his deputy, Obuobia Darko-Opoku.
The rest were two deputy national communications officers, Godwin Arko Gunn and Malik Basintale.
The visit was intended to deepen the relationship between the NDC and the GJA.
Protection of democracy
Mr Kwetey further said that when the media were up to the task, they would also help to protect the nation’s growing democracy.
“When institutions become appendages of the government, they cease to be effective and create a fertile ground for corruption and other malpractices which could lead to instability of a country,” he said.
Mr Kwetey attributed the recent coup d’etats being experienced in some African countries partly to weak institutions and leadership that did not take the interest of the people at heart.
He cited the case of the Bank of Ghana (BoG) which incurred over GH¢60 million losses last year; allegations of misappropriation of state resources by some politicians, and the Electoral Commission (EC’s) decision to conduct a limited registration exercise at district offices as some of the matters the media must speak and write about in the interest of the nation.
Also, Mr Kwetey admonished the media not to sing the praises of the government when things were moving in the wrong direction but must be ethical and fair in their reportage to ensure issues of development were given priority.
The General-Secretary, however, congratulated the media for their immense contribution in nation-building and the GJA for championing the cause of journalists in the country.
The President of GJA, Albert Kwabena Dwumfour, gave an assurance that the media would continue to discharge its duties responsibly for the betterment of the nation.
He said some capacity-building programmes were being offered to journalists to promote professionalism and raise the standard of the profession in the country.
Mr Dwumfour, however, expressed concern about the growing attacks of journalists, especially by political party supporters who perceived some journalists as belonging to opposing parties.
He said journalists were collaborators of development and must, therefore, be treated as such, adding that the media would continue to provide platforms for political parties to engage the public.
The president commended the NDC for being the first political party to engage the current leadership of the association.