Communications consultant and dean of communication studies at the Wisconsin University College Professor Kwame Karikari has urged Ghanaians and the media to be cautious with their jubilation over the passage of the Right to Information Law by Parliament.
He says until the content of the new law is studied and accepted to be responsive to the challenges with information gathering in the country, there is the need for caution among stakeholders.
Parliament passed the RTI into law on Tuesday March 26. It had been over two decades since it was first drafted under the auspices of the Institute of Economic Affairs, IEA and more than a decade since the Executive arm of government in 2002 drafted the first RTI bill.
The passage of the law has been celebrated by Ghanaians especially the media.
Speaking to Francis Abban on the Morning Starr Wednesday, Prof. Karikari said the law may not be very helpful to the media on the daily reportage of events.
“The RTI bill may either enhance the access to information or rubbish the whole process and that is why we are interested in the content of the bill. Until we see, read and study what the act contains, we cannot jubilate and have a party.
“If the document does not meet our expectations and give us the necessary provisions, we will fight against it in court but we are hoping for the best. The media should not put too much premium on the RTI Bill because the bill will not necessarily help journalists meet deadlines and achieve quality daily news production,” he said.
He further noted: “There may be some information on the desk of the President and/or his Vice and on the desk of the police that may not be for public consumption and so people shouldn’t expect all information out there. Records are poorly kept in this country and destroyed. A whole new culture is required so that vital information will be kept and made available when need be”.
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