Politics not fight - Asabee
The Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mr Stephen Asamoah-Boateng, has advised the media to help promote politics as a contest of ideas among patriots and not as a fight among enemies.
He said the way to attain this was to endeavour to put out the issues for the electorate to debate on them and make informed choices, instead of drifting away from the real issues into unnecessary things that would not help the cause of Ghana.
Mr Asamoah-Boateng, who was interacting with board members and the Managing Director of the Graphic Communications Group Limited (GCGL), Mr Ibrahim Awal, in Accra, described the lead story on the manifestos of the various political parties in the May 27, 2008 edition of the Daily Graphic as an example of the proactive issues which the media could raise to keep the political parties on their toes.
The minister, who briefly joined the Editorial conference of the Daily Graphic where stories for the next day's publication were selected, expressed happiness at the way members expressed their views and canvassed for stories at the conference.
He said the Daily Graphic had demonstrated the mark of a good newspaper by being fair, firm and balanced and urged the GCGL to maintain its neutrality and fairness, especially in the run-up to Election 2008.
Mr Asamoah-Boateng commended the company for being the best state-owned organisation last year.
He also commended the flagship newspaper of the company, the Daily Graphic, for the accuracy and balance of its reportage.
He said the media must always put Ghana first so that “we can keep the country together, even after the elections, so that we can continue to live in peace and prosperity”.
Mr Asamoah-Boateng urged the company to always to distinguish between state news from party or political news and give the state news the needed publicity it deserved.
He commended the GCGL for introducing a community newspaper — the Graphic Nsempa — and urged the management to consider introducing others in Ga, Ewe and Hausa or any of the northern languages.
He described the managing director as one of the dynamic chief executives Ghana had ever had.
Mr Asamoah-Boateng described the alleged assault of the Central Regional Editor of the Daily Graphic, Mr Joe Okyere, by a former a Central Regional Minister, Mr Isaac Edumadze, as very unfortunate and urged journalists and politicians to be professional and calm in the run-up to the elections.
He explained that the ability to cope with different situations differed from person to person, hence the need for all to be guided by the mood of the other person before acting or reacting to certain issues.
Touching on the achievements of the Kufuor administration, Mr Asamoah-Boateng said the Danquah-Busia tradition was not known for propaganda work, hence its silence on most of the achievements.
“We believe in action and the dictum that action speaks louder than words,” he said.
He said the media landscape was very buoyant and that the government appreciated the role it was playing.
He said the media's ability to cope with and withstand pressure from political parties was good for the country, noting, however, that a few often went to the extreme but said that could be due to over excitement.
He urged media practitioners to put the performance of the parties and their agenda forward for Ghanaians to decide.
The Board Chairman of the company, Osahene Kwasi Offei Agyeman IV, said he was happy that the government had not put any pressure on the company to tilt publications in its favour.
He assured the minister that the company, through its newspapers, would continue to work for and promote peace in the country.
Source: Daily Graphic