President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, says he prefers a media landscape in Ghana that is diverse in its reportage to one that is uniformed in its work as exist in countries saddled with dictatorship, stressing that his administration will not engage in media buying just to look good in the eyes of Ghanaians.
According to the President, he is “very encouraged by the continuing vibrancy and diversity of the Ghanaian media” in the nation and that the open and diverse media “is the very foundation of our democratic open society”.
President Akufo-Addo said this while addressing a delegation of the Ghana Journalist Association (GJA) at the Jubilee House today the 28th of June 2021, when they paid a courtesy call on him.
The president noted that he “will hesitate to accept any situation that looks for uniformity in the media”.
“People are have tried it all over the world and it never works. It doesn’t work for a simple reason, we all think differently and the media reflects these different ways that human beings think” President Akufo-Addo said.
“I am happy to see that this tendency, this tradition, is becoming stronger and stronger in our nation, the free, vigorous, and diversified media. Those of us in public life, we should be able to take it” Akufo-Addo added.
The GJA delegation led by its President, Affail Monney, included the vice president of the GJA, Linda Asante Adjei (Editor of the Ghana News Agency, GNA), Treasurer of the GJA, Audrey Dakalu, 2018 Journalist of the year, Doreen Hammond of the Daily Graphic and Kwame Sefa Kayi, the 2017 Journalist of the year.
Among others, the GJA president registered the appreciation of the Association to the President for opening the recently held conference of African Journalists leaders in Accra and also to the government for the donation of the award (VW saloon car) of the 2020 journalist of the year.
The association requested of government to come to the aid of the media in the country to mitigate the impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the fourth estate of the realm.
In this regard, Mr. Monney asked the government to “wave spectrum and regulatory fees for broadcasting institutions for one year”, wave “corporate tax on wages of media practitioners for three (3) months”, and “injection of oxygen into the private media to the tune of 5 million cedis to help them to recover”.
“We believe that a positive response from your office will help bring the media back to normalcy” the GJA president noted.
Affail Monney also indicated that the current GJA office building (the international press centre) which was renovated and donated by the Kufuor government, per an assessment done by structural engineers, has developed defects.
To this end, the GJA and all its other associated institutions, Mr. Monney said, have designed a fifteen (15) storey office complex that the Association will require direct assistance from the government to construct.
“We believe that this can be added to your legacy projects because that enclave has the national cathedral and the recently inaugurated passport office. We humbly appeal to your good offices to add the international press centre project to your legacies” GJA President, Affail Monney said.
President Akufo-Addo on the international press centre project directed the association to brief the Minister for Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, who was present at the meeting, on the project and same will be properly tabled before the government for consideration and action.
President Akufo-Addo also indicated that all the other issues such as the proposals for support to the media to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic will be given the necessary executive attention it deserves.