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NMC urges state media to share ideas

BY: Maclean Kwofi
Yaw Boadu-Ayeboafoh, Chairman of the National Media Commission, speaking at the orientation programme. Picture: MAXWELL OCLOO
Yaw Boadu-Ayeboafoh, Chairman of the National Media Commission, speaking at the orientation programme. Picture: MAXWELL OCLOO

The Chairman of the National Media Commission (NMC), Yaw Boadu-Ayeboafoh, has asked the four state-owned media houses to share ideas and create synergies for growth.

“If we can develop synergies among ourselves, we will be able to overcome these difficult times and grow our companies. If not formal, we would like to see a semi-formal relationship among these state agencies where, at the level of the boards, there will be an exchange of ideas,” he said at the opening of an orientation for members of the boards of the four state-owned media organisations in Accra last Saturday.

The organisations are the Graphic Communications Group Limited (GCGL), the New Times Corporation (NTC), the Ghana News Agency (GNA) and the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC).

Orientation

The two-day orientation was meant to empower the boards of the state-owned media houses, sharpen their skills to craft their visions and improve their strategies to change the fortunes of their respective organisations.

It had presentations on ensuring fair opportunities, compliance with the public financial management rules, and board oversight, among others.

The Executive Director of the NMC, George Sarpong, also made a presentation at the event.

Limit relations

Mr Boadu-Ayeboafoh urged the boards and management of the state media houses to limit their relationship or dialogue with the government and its officials in order not to render themselves vulnerable to interference.

When they became vulnerable, he said, the NMC might not be able to intervene because it might be too late.

Graphic ready to collaborate

The Chairperson of the GCGL Board, Professor Olivia Frimpong Kwapong, said the group was ready to collaborate with other state-owned media organisations for mutual growth, adding that already the GCGL had an existing relationship with the NTC.

She added that the GCGL Board was working closely with the management of the group to implement some key strategies that would help increase the fortunes of the company.

“We have developed some serious strategies to enable the group to be more profitable and efficient to pay dividends to the government and take care of staff welfare.

“And so we are exploring innovative ways to push our brands onto the market by meeting the standards set for us by the NMC,” Prof. Kwapong added.

Let’s engage

The Chairman of the GNA Board, Nana Kwaku Dei, said although the four state-owned media organisations were in competition, there was the need to engage with one another to determine areas to collaborate.

“We can engage, even without the involvement of the NMC, to share ideas,” he said.

Known in private life as Ransford Tetteh, Nana Dei noted that the new board of the GNA was committed to transforming the image of the organisation to regain its glory days when the state news agency was the preference for all media houses in the country.

“Those days, we had very good writers and sub-editors who provided readers with the best. But, today, the picture is different because most journalists in Ghana have challenges with writing skills,” he said.

Review tenure of boards

The Chairman of the NTC Board, Dr Kweku Rockson, commended the NMC for the orientation and said it should also consider reviewing the length of the tenure of the boards of the state-owned media houses because two years was not appropriate to make a meaningful impact.

He said when constituting the boards, the NMC should include three types of professionals — lawyers, finance persons and marketing executives.

For his part, the Chairman of the GBC Board, Prof. Samuel Debrah, said in spite of the challenges faced by the state broadcaster, the commitment of the board was to collaborate with the management and staff to help enhance the fortunes of the corporation.