Sunday, 3 May 2009

Gov't commends media but says journalists must be paid well

Government has commended the Ghanaian media for its inspirational role across Africa despite the challenges many sections of the media face. These challenges, government identifies as low wages and salaries for many journalists, the need to improve standards and enhance the role of the media as a key partner in development.

In a statement to commemorate World Press Freedom Day, government stated that it remains committed to the passage of the Right to Information Bill into law, and recognises the concerns of various stakeholders that need to be carefully considered by cabinet.

“The NDC is not only committed to strengthening the media by helping to improve on the standard of its practitioners, but also dedicated to ensuring easy access to information and a positive engagement of the media in its efforts at improving the living conditions of Ghanaians.”

A statement from the Ministry of Information said the theme for this year’s commemoration ‘the potential of media in fostering dialogue, mutual understanding and reconciliation’ throws a challenge to the Ghanaian media. Government agrees with UNESCO that "only a media that is vibrant, independent, pluralistic, inclusive and fair, editorially free and beyond censorship and influence from owners or interests can contribute to dialogue and reconciliation across divides."
It is government’s expectation that the media would continue to play its rightful role, mindful of the fact it can only help in promoting tolerance and getting feuding parties to accept each other when it is also able to strengthen the principles and practices of a free and professional media.

“As we join the Ghana Journalist Association and the media generally to celebrate the 2009 World Press Freedom Day, we condemn unreservedly attacks either verbal or physical on journalists, and wish to advise all to desist from such practices."

Government also calls on media owners and managers to pay their staff reasonable wages and salaries, and must also work to improve their competences through various training programs as a step towards improving journalism standards.


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