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Regional News Wed, 25 Feb 2004

Media told to focus on development issues.

Bongo (U/E), Feb.25, GNA- The New Patriotic Party (NPP), press secretary, Mr. Kojo Afari, on Tuesday called on journalists, especially those in the regions, to focus their reportage on issues affecting the ordinary people and draw government's attention to those problems. He noted that the three northern regions are among the areas hard-hit by poverty and deprivation, and that even though several remedial measures have been put in place the situation still seemed hopeless.

Mr. Afari said this in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) at Bongo in the Upper East Region during the NPP Constituency Congress to elect a parliamentary candidate for the forthcoming elections.

He said the media, especially those in the urban areas have digressed from focusing on development issues and are rather dwelling much on political matters that are sometimes baseless and have no connection at all with the real needs of the people.

Mr. Afari observed that when journalists toe the political line and attack parties and individuals, they sway from their traditional responsibility of bringing relief to the ordinary people through their watchdog roles of reporting on the problems affecting the people. The Press Secretary said anything on the contrary hinder the cause of deepening the country's young democracy, because it does not alert government on the plight of the people.

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He charged journalists in the regions to do more by collaborating with the people and impress upon government, the need to intervene in reducing the sufferings of the people.

He said although the NPP government "inherited an abysmal economy, it is on track and can only do better if media practitioners raise the essential needs of the people in their reportage and bring them to the notice of the government".

Source: GNA
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