President Akufo-Addo has directed the Minister of Information, Mr Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, to treat the issue of Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC) and its many outlets across the country risk going off-air as an urgent one to help bring an amicable resolution.
He asked Mr Oppong Nkrumah to see how best to deal with the payment of the huge electricity bill of the GBC as well as the accommodation and funding concerns of the NMC and said the Media Commission like all other constitutional bodies had come to stay and so the sooner they are settled in a satisfactory way to do their work the better it will be for the growth of the country and its democracy.
This was as a result of a meeting between the Chairman of the National Media Commission (NMC), Mr Yaw Boadu-Ayeboafoh, and President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, on Wednesday [November 6, 2019.
The President, who has been meeting organised bodies, took the opportunity to advise the media to be balanced and fair. He further called for a clear balance between media freedom and responsibility.
He charged the NMC to as much as possible find a means to strike a balance between the freedom as well as the responsibility of the media in the country.
While admitting that the task was a very big challenge for the Commission, President Akufo-Addo also noted that there were occasions when the media was used for irresponsible purposes and therefore it was important the NMC did what it could to strike that balance between responsibility and freedom of the media and make it operational.
He acknowledged that the freedom of the media was an absolutely essential tool for governance which allowed the diversity of opinion to be expressed about matters and that no one should wish for monotony or one-sided replication of views.
“I know that you will be concerned about the means to have this balance addressed but then we know from empirical evidence and historical examples of how media itself can be an instrument of destabilization of societies. That cannot be something that any of us will willingly wish for Ghana because a great deal of Ghana’s present capital and heritage is derived from the image the country has projected as a free, open and a stable democracy especially in the area of the world where there is a lot of turbulence and upheavals but we continue to toe the line of democratic engagement” the President stated.
Recounting some experiences in the past where there was only one voice which was radio Ghana and where the newspapers only admitted one point of view, President Akufo-Addo said that system did not serve the interest of the state.
He was, however, happy about the present diverse and vigorous media landscape which expressed all the various perspectives about the country and indicated that the existing system was good for the health of our country.
A responsible media therefore he added must be “one that checks its facts and attempts as much as possible to portray situations as they are, and not to be a media that is inventing things to serve very short term parochial interests.”