Minister for Information, Kojo Oppong has charged journalists to projects opportunities within their regions in order to attract investors to invest in these regions.
According to him, journalists should develop a conscious culture beyond holding duty bearers accountable and pointing to the ills in society to projecting local economic opportunities in a way that will attract investors to harness these opportunities to create jobs for locals.
He said this as part of his three days tour of the North East, Northern, Upper East, Northern, and Upper West Regions to gain first-hand acquaintance of state-owned media houses amid ongoing talks of retooling them to become viable players in an increasingly competitive media landscape.
“You as journalists must play a very critical role in the development of the local communities in which you are. You are described and rightly so as the fourth estate of the realm, when you take away the executive, the judiciary and legislature, the media constitutes the fourth estate of the realm and this raises the question of what is the responsibility of the media in the national development exercise.
“One of them is to hold duty barriers accountable, another includes to draw the society’s attention to key issues that must be attended to but I think you also have to promote opportunities in your various communities. There are many communities with lots of potentials and while we are not pleased with the level of economic development in those areas, we in the media space need to do more in projecting the numerous opportunities in our local areas,” he stated.
Safety of Journalists
The Minister said the safety of journalists is of paramount interest to his office as sector Minister. This according to him has resulted in the formation of the Coordinated Mechanism for the Safety of Journalists under the watch of the National Media Commission (NMC) to curb the incidence of attacks on journalists in the country.
This he said provides a support mechanism for journalists and provides the NMC with the needed platform to interface with journalists who come under physical attacks by investigating, validating, and taking the necessary steps to seek legal action.
The Minister in his admonishing to journalists on COVID-19 and related matters tasked journalists to keep the COVID-19 safety messages alive. He noted that eradicating the virus from the Ghanaian ecosystem is a collective responsibility and therefore, journalists must take up the responsibility of adequately informing the public particularly in areas where COVID-19 education is very low.
This the Minister charged journalists to re-energize their public information role to increase public awareness on government’s vaccination programme and rally support behind government to help eradicate the virus in it entirety.