Attacks on Journalists: Gov’t to ensure firmer penalties

By Joyce Adwoa Animia Ocran, ISD II contributor
Social News Attacks on Journalists: Govt to ensure firmer penalties

Minister for Information, Madam Fatimatu Abubakar, has announced that the Ministry is working closely with the judicial service and other relevant stakeholders to ensure stiffer penalties for those who attack journalists performing their duties.

This underscores the government's commitment to fostering a safe and conducive environment for free and responsible media operations in Ghana.

She made the remark during a visit to the management of ZED Multimedia as part of her ongoing engagements with stakeholders in the media sector.

Madam Abubakar highlighted the introduction of the Coordinated Mechanism on the Safety of Journalists (CMSJ) as a key measure to protect media personnel in the country.

“The one instance that was prominent when it comes to the framework is when Citi reported an issue involving Caleb Kuda with the national security to the office and the office led the group and the victim to pursue action,” she noted.

She commended the management of ZED Multimedia and employees for promoting professionalism and utilising their platforms on national issues.

The Minister also announced the commencement of the 3rd Cohort of the Media Capacity Enhancement Programme (MCEP) and urged ZED Multimedia to allow their staff to participate in the training.

On the Broadcasting Bill, the Minister indicated that the draft bill was 90% completed and hoped that the media would help sensitise the public on the importance of the Bill.

She informed the media house of the International Fund for Public Interest Media (IFPIM), a media development fund targeted at independent media institutions and urged them to take advantage of the fund to support their growth.

The Minister called for a greater collaboration between the media and government to deepen the country’s democracy.

On his part, Mr Elvis Darko, a Senior Editor with ZED Multimedia, stated that the difficulty facing the media was financing and called for government assistance.

“The media’s biggest challenge is financing. So, if there’s a fund and it's headquartered in Ghana and we had to make applications to the fund, it is a very good thing,” he said.

He also suggested that a team of experts be formed to assist media houses and individual journalists in submitting applications for funding from the IFPM, as this could help media houses and journalists craft and shape their proposals to meet both local and international funding application standards.