Deputy Information Minister Kojo Oppong-Nkrumah has tasked the media to strengthen its watchdog role in the year 2018 and help shed light on neglected but important social challenges for redress.
He says the media as partners in development have a crucial role to play in helping draw attention to ignored problems in society so stakeholders can collectively find solutions to them.
The Member of Parliament for Ofoase-Ayirebi notes that although government is tackling society’s problems gradually, the media has the ability to stimulate quick action by highlighting issues that are yet to be attended to.
Citing CNN’s story last year about slave trade of Africans in Libya, Mr. Oppong-Nkrumah said: “All over the world, you will notice that it’s not only about what government is doing and what the society is saying, but the media is gradually taking interest in certain social matters that ought to be brought to the attention of the entire society to tackle.”
“When the journalist took up that matter and brought it to the forefront, the entire world was consumed by it. Even here in Ghana, we had to organize flights for our people to come back home…” he observed.
The Deputy Information Minister was speaking at a press soiree organized by the Ministry of Information for journalists in the Ashanti Region over the weekend. The meeting is part of efforts to decentralize government’s information dissemination process to the grassroots level and to brief them on the administration’s plan for the year 2018.
He said the media has been crucial in channelling information on government policies to the people and giving the administration objective feedback that has helped shape its initiatives. “You our friends in the media are partners…. If you don’t give us the platform to explain issues to the people of Ghana, our message will not go far. If you don’t help us understand what the people are saying and the kind of feedback that the people are giving us, we will go astray,” he observed.
Mr. Oppong-Nkrumah called for a deepening of that relationship this year. “As we start the New Year, we want to deepen that partnership and ask you to continue sharing with us that feedback,” he added.
He told the media-government will in 2018 prioritize job creation and improving economic conditions since it has succeeded in stabilizing the macroeconomy over the last one year. “Government’s priority last year was to restore stability to the Ghanaian economy and to commence work on some of our major policy initiatives promised during the 2016 campaign… We have made significant strides in restoring macro stability… In 2018, government seeks to focus very strongly on improving job creation and further improving economic conditions in the country,” he said.