As part of its campaign promises in the build-up to the 2016 election, the New Patriotic Party (NPP) led government has come under intense pressure to redeem its pledge by speeding up the passage of the Right To Information (RTI) Bill.
The RTI Bill, which is expected to make information easily accessible by the media and Ghanaians to boost the fight against corruption, has been in legislation for over 22 years now.
But advocacy groups including Right To Information [RTI] coalition relentlessly continue to pressurize duty-bearers to have the bill passed.
Speaking to Ghanaweb, Samson Lardy Anyenini, a member of the RTI coalition stressed the importance of the bill to journalists and even public officials.
According to Mr. Anyenini, the Bill when passed will help rid the media landscape of false and speculative news stories as details of government contracts will be made available within a required time without restrictions.
The private legal practitioner also allayed fears of government officials arguing that the 22-year-old bill when passed will help reduce defamatory reports that disrepute public officials with good standing since there will be opportunities for journalists to access the right information before reportage.
“Go to the NLA where it’s being reported that something untoward had gone on. Ask for the contract and see if they will give it to you. They won’t. Even if they will, they will pick and choose which portion to give to you, but with the passage of the RTI Bill they will be compiled to make all information available.”
“Journalism in an RTI regime will be one without speculation. In fact, if you look at it carefully it will help public officials. We are hearing things from Flagstaff House, Korle bu among others, all the media has done on these issues is to speculate, but an RTI law will take away the speculation.” Mr. Anyenini said.
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