Minister for Parliamentary Affairs, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu has charged the media to support government’s effort at revitalizing the economy amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
He said the media is also required to provide policy elites with varied perspectives and reliable information from which decisions could be made.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu made the observation at a forum to interact with media professionals in Accra
The event organized by the Ministry for Parliamentary Affairs (MoFA on the theme: “Economic revitalization amid COVID-19 pandemic: The media’s agenda” is being executed in accordance with the ministry’s strategic objective of deepening democratic governance in Ghana.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu stated that considering the devastating effect of covid-19 as manifested in loss of lives, job losses, reduction in trade volumes, overstretched health infrastructure among others, the media was to enhance the political coordination in the development of sound economic policies.
He added that the media was expected to join forces with other stakeholders to facilitate trade, transmit ideas and innovation and sustain actions of government through private and public endeavors to alleviate the acute economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
He said the essential role of the media necessitated bringing together a cross-section of media professionals to enable them harvest ideas on their agenda in partnering government to promote policies and programmes that would rejuvenate the economy and transform it to benefit the people.
The Majority Leader said the government in its quest to revitalize the economy also instituted revenue mobilization strategies that would help shore up the economy and appealed to the media to use their platforms to educate the public to understand the good intentions of government.
He said that would help support the national development effort through the provision of critical public goods for the benefit of the people.
Prof Amin Alhassan, Director General of the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC) speaking on the Role of Public Service Broadcasting in the media’s agenda for economic revitalization cited for example that when the COVID-19 struck and the President was compelled to close down schools, in less than 24-hours Director General of the Ghana Education Service (GES) and himself sat down and decided to create a new TV channel for education and within two weeks the station was on air.
He said without any funding from government, the station was still on air running the GES curriculum for the loss of the classroom time to students, saying that is what Public Service Broadcasting could do.
He said any democracy that Ghana was aspiring to be like had a clear commitment to funding their Public Service Broadcaster as part of the media mix to democracy.
Dr Ebo Afful, a Senior Lecturer at the Ghana Institute of Journalism expressed concern about some disturbing issues regarding policy formulation by the government.
He said the media was always kept out when policies were formulated and were only brought in when the policies were implemented.
He said it was about time government engaged the media dduring policy formulation, to express their views with regard to the kind of policies the government would want to formulate.
Dr Afful added that the media in supporting the government policies should be telling stories, in terms of expressing their views, by commenting and making analysis of the issues.
Submit your stories or articles to us via WhatsApp +233-245092915