Information Minister-designate, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah has challenged the media to go beyond investigative journalism and also focus on telling stories that inspire Ghanaians and build the national psyche.
He said although many believe negative stories easily sell, Journalists must also pursue stories that build the national can-do spirit.
Mr Oppong Nkrumah was addressing the 23rd Ghana Journalists Association Awards in Accra on Saturday, 27 October 2018.
The ceremony was on the theme: “State of Investigative Journalism: Boundaries of Privacy and Borders of the Public Interest”.
He said the “Media’s responsibility goes beyond investigative journalism and exposing nefarious acts. Media responsibility also includes building the national psyche. You are the ones who determine whether Ghanaians will hear stories that inspire them and challenge them to do better or the ones who determine whether Ghanaians will be subjected to daily doses of societal ills”.
Mr Oppong Nkrumah encouraged the media to take its responsibility seriously and showcase to Ghanaians “the excellence among us, to inspire others”.
“The reinforcement of positive lessons generates a snowball effect. And gradually we can get more excellence from among us. We are story tellers. Let us not look for the gory story that easily sells. Let us go for find the stories that ought to be told. Let us also make space in pages, within our airtime for the things that build the national can-do spirit too” he added.
Attacks on Journalists and Media
Mr Oppong Nkrumah said the Journalism trade sometimes suffers attacks and threats which must be condemned and redressed when they occur.
“On the global scene, the murder of Jamal Khashoggi is a heinous, abominable, evil act that must never been repeated. We urge the international community to put pressure on both Turkey and Saudi Arabia to find the perpetrators and punish them severely. Here in Ghana, I will also condemn unreservedly attacks on media professionals in recent times including the assault case against our brother Latif Idris. I’m taking steps to ensure this matter is resolved soon,” he said, adding that “Journalism is not a crime and violence against media practitioners and journalists must not be tolerated.”
Welfare of Journalists
Mr Oppong Nkrumah said the expansion in the media sector has not translated into a corresponding improvement in the quality of welfare and condition of service of practitioners. He said media owners must ensure the capacities of practitioners are enhanced through constant training, and the welfare of journalists is taken care of with deserving remunerations and incentives. He said government is expected to collaborate in 2019 with the Ghana Journalists Association, the Ghana Institute of Journalism, the Ghana Independent Broadcasters Association and the National Media Commission to roll out projects to further boost the capacity of journalists.
In all 36 award winners were acknowledged including Citi FM’s Bernard Avle who emerged as the 2017 journalist of the year.