Goverment is commited to media fund - Fritz BaffourBy GNA
3/9/2012 12:00:33 AM -
Accra, March 8, GNA - Mr Fritz Baffour, Minister of Information on Thursday said government was committed to the establishment of the proposed "Media Development Fund".
"That is why GH¢ 1million has been allocated to the fund as seed money, to be topped by other donors, both public and private."
Mr Baffour made the pledge at a Stakeholders Meeting on the Proposed Media Development Fund in Accra.
He said the fund was an initiative of the NDC Government as part of the "Better Ghana Agenda".
"The Fund is to assist in improving the professional output and competence of media organisations in the country," he said, adding that, "It would be administered by a Board of Trustees, whose duty was to ensure probity and fairness in fund disbursements.
'Such stakeholders meeting is crucial, since it determines the modus operandi of the fund".
"I fervently hope and wish you come to a conclusion that would be agreeable to all stakeholders, so that the fund can take off and be implemented without delay," he added.
The Chairman of the National Media Commission, Mr Kabral Blay Amihere, said one key aim of the fund, was to promote high standards in journalism.
He said by promoting these standards, the progress of the entire State was ensured, since responsible journalism, typically resulted in progress in the various areas of national development.
Mr Blay Amihere said in accordance with the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) Constitution, such a fund was most needed for the promotion of excellence in journalism within the country.
Mr Ransford Tetteh, President of GJA, in a speech read on his behalf by Mr Bright Blewu, General Secretary of GJA, said the fund would enhance the media's capacity to ensure national growth through promoting standard reporting methods.
He said a strong commitment towards the promotion of high standards of journalism in the country was most crucial, since national growth and progress, depended to a large extent on standard journalism practice.
Mr Berifi Apenteng, Director General of Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC), said it was important to note that the emphasis was on using public funds to support the media and not Government funds.
He said this was important because the situation had to be prevented, where politicians or governments might manipulate media churn out, because they had a hold over the disbursement of the fund.
"There is the need to have an independent body to host the fund, typically in the form of a Board of Trustees appointed by the State."
Mr Apenteng said the NMC, media houses as well as other stakeholders must have representatives on the Board to ensure its independence, adding that, the Administrator of the Fund had to be elected by the Board of Trustees.
Ms Sarah Akrofi Quarcoo, School of Administration-Legon, said a society could not be truly democratic without an independent media, "Yet an independent media needs to be self sustaining to be effective. It is therefore important to help ensure this self sustainability".