Well informed media critical in modern economies – Wampah
The Governor of the Bank of Ghana, Dr Henry Kofi Wampah, has stressed how central a well informed and independent media is to the functioning of modern economies and commended the rising quality and depth in financial and economic journalism in the country.
The Governor said improved access to information and public participation in economic decision making were key variables in enhancing the quality of economic management, the principal reason why the central bank had partnered the media to get the right message out to the public.
“Market economies such as ours need to depend on the content and efficient information flows to enable a variety of economic actors to make informed decisions,” Dr Wampah said in a speech read on his behalf by the Director of Research Department of the Bank of Ghana (BoG), Dr Johnson Asiama.
Speaking at a training on financial and economic reporting for Journalists for Business Advocacy (JBA) at Prampram in the Dangme West District, the governor said the central bank’s monetary policy mandate which had inflation targeting framework as its primary tool required transparency and regular communication for which it used its official website, as well as the partnership of the media to propagate.
However, he said the media which was it critical ally, was often occupied with sensational news and even when they did finance and economic news, it reflected a lack of a good grasp of economic issues, coupled with inaccuracies and distorted facts.
“Inaccurate reports on finance and economic issues always have negative repercussions on the economy and hinder investor confidence. It is ,therefore, imperative that we take public outreach a step further through regular communication,” he said.
The two-day seminar on the theme, “Improving knowledge base for effective finance and economic reporting” was the maiden in a series of seminars to be organised nationwide by the Journalists for Business Advocacy (JBA) and sponsored by Ecobank Ghana.
The aim is to help to sharpen the skills and enhance knowledge of journalists to report effectively on finance and economic issues.
About 30 journalists drawn from various media organisations in the Greater Accra Region had the platform to discuss a wide range of issues including basic macroeconomic analysis, the role of financial markets, analysis of the budget statement, money laundering and financial crimes and the role of journalists in economic news reporting.
The General Secretary of the JBA, Mr Suleiman Mustapha, said the association was born out after a training programme by the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) in collaboration with the Business Sector Advocacy Challenge (BUSAC) to champion a friendly environment for businesses through advocacy and the power of the media.
He said that business journalism should go beyond reporting the facts to influencing policy in a manner that would benefit businesses in the country, and that the JBA had chosen to do advocacy to help draw the attention of policy makers and regulatory bodies to the challenges businesses face for redress. So far, the association has chalked several success stories.