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12.11.2007 General News

Make media accessible to all


Mrs. Marijke Koeman, Policy Advisor at the Radio Netherlands Training Centre (World Service) on Monday called for more public owned media houses in developing countries to give equal voice to the powerful and vulnerable in society.

She explained that the taxpayers money would be used to finance the media work so that the media would be more responsible to the poor and the powerful at the same time.

For example, she said as the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) is public funded, it "cannot be biased towards the government or the poor, they report what is news".

Mrs. Koeman made the call in an interview with the Ghana News Agency on the need to have independent media organizations in developing countries and said, the media must be accessible to anybody and should be paid for by everybody.

"An independent media organization will not report in favour of the government because they are not government funded or report against the government because they are funded by the opposition or do purely commercial work."

She observed that where every individual in the society was taxed to finance a media house the media became obliged to give balanced reportage and focused more on developmental issues instead of purely politics or commercial stories.

"The principle of everybody paying should be reflected in the country by the kind of stories the media house churns out," she said.

Mrs Koeman pointed out that there was always a fundamental misunderstanding between politicians and the press in defining the role of the media and said the position should be well defined.