The Minister of Information, Mr. Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, together with the leadership of the Information Service Department (ISD) of government has launched a news portal, Ghana Today.
The Minister observed that a significant section of the population now relies on online platforms and other social media platforms for information.
According to him, some unscrupulous persons use many of these portals and social media platforms to propagate falsehood and misinformation.
This phenomenon, he said, "is gradually undermining our democracy."
On the score, the new portal was introduced with the aim of combating misinformation about government activities, which is mostly disseminated in various media platforms, particularly social media and some unprofessional online portals.
The Ofoase Ayirebi lawmaker noted that the portal will be used to counter false publications by issuing press statements, rejoinders, and responses to false claims and to correct perceptions formed by the general public.
"The rollout of this website will, therefore, aid the Department in the fight against misinformation by providing direct information from Ministries, Departments and Agencies about the works of government and becoming a repository of all happenings in government.
"It will provide facts about government projects and programs, full texts of all speeches by heads of MDAs, official communications and publications, policies, and program documents to reduce the level of misrepresentations and sometimes outright misinformation online," he noted.
Speaking at the launch, held on Monday, March 13, at the Information Ministry in Accra, the Minister urged the journalists who will be working on the site to be swift and consistent so that they would not give fake news a chance.
"As I have charged you earlier, platforms like this are only as useful as how regularly and accurately you update them.
"So work quickly and accurately to ensure that the Ghanaian citizen is reached with all the facts and the necessary documentation as soon as possible. Do not wait until tomorrow. Do it now," the Minister urges.
Having said that, Mr. Oppong Nkrumah told Ghanaians to also make it a habit to visit the site www.ghanatoday.gov.gh regularly to cross-check information they chance on in any of the media platforms.
He also told PROs of the various ministries, government agencies, district assemblies, and others who will be bringing reports to the media department to also be fast about it because delays may give false information a chance.
"To our PROs across the MDAs, it is your job to ensure that the information and the documents reach ISD Media today, so they are published. The regular delays in getting materials to your colleagues at ISD Media will only undermine the potential efficacy of this very useful tool. So, get to work with speed and call for help if you need help with the bureaucracy in your ministries.
"To our colleagues in the media, we hope this becomes a useful tool that makes your all-important work easier." To the general public, reach out to www.ghanatoday.gov.gh if you want to validate the information about government works that you may come across," he said.