Private legal practitioner, Edudzi Tamekloe has stated that the conduct of the current government against accountability institutions, whether state or private, is creating mistrust about the president’s decision to organize capacity building for media practitioners in Ghana.
Mr Tamekloe noted that the “government is receiving flak for sponsoring the media training because of its own conduct when it comes to accountability”.
“The suspicion of influence is heightened because of the character of the people we are dealing with. In every democracy, there are established accountability institutions or agencies. Some are governmental, some are private. You note that in the superior wisdom of the makers of the 1992 constitution they decided that at all material time, the media ought to have a certain level of autonomy because of the critical role they play as the watchdog.
“We also do know that the media also engages in the areas of informing and entertaining. . Unless of course there are defefficenies then you would want to intervene.
“Ordinarily, there shouldn’t be anything wrong with building the capacities of people. Even as lawyers we do what is called continues legal education, other institutions allow that. But when you have a government that is opposed to any form of accountability then any intervention from them to provide capacity building to the media would already be seen with a lot of suspicion and mistrust”, Edudzi Tameklo noted while speaking with TV3 on Wednesday, January 12, 2022, on the National Media Capacity Enhancement programme.
Meanwhile, according to Information Minister, Kojo Oppong, “the media capacity training for journalists was being provided by independent group of industry stakeholders”.
“The National Media Commission (NMC), Ghana Journalists Association (GJA), Ghana Independent Broadcasters Association (GIBA), Private Newspaper Publishers Association (PRINPAG), Institute of Professional Studies (IPS), Communication Educators, Association of Ghana Civil Society Groups in Media and selected leading journalists and media houses worked together to set up an independent working group that is collaborating to enhance the capacity of Ghanaian journalists to ensure they deliver on their mandate, information minister stated.
He further added that “The needs assessment, curriculum development, administration of training is all being done by this independent group of industry stakeholders.
“Our commitment as a government is to provide scholarship for 250 beneficiaries who will be selected by the committee to participate in the programme for the year 2022″.
Nonetheless, the move by the government to train the journalists has been criticised by some observers.
For instance, Deputy National Youth Organizer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Edem Agbana who raised concerns against the government being the organizer of this capacity enhancement programme, argued that the initiative has “the propensity of compromising the journalists who are supposed to be neutral”.
He stated that “the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) should have been the organizers of such an event, not the government”
Mr. Agbana also asked the GJA to take up the issue of the welfare of journalists seriously.
“The Ghana Journalists Association must sit-up on the issues of welfare of journalists. We need to have a whole conversation about the welfare of journalists,” he noted.
The National Media Capacity Enhancement programme, a programme designed by the government through the Ministry of Information is aimed at providing training for some 250 journalists annually across the country.
Source: Richard Mensah Adonu | Join our Telegram Group