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09.03.2009 General News

Information Minister Visits Graphic, Times

By ISD (Elvis Adjei-Baah)

Mrs Zita Okaikoi (middle), Information Minister, flanked by MOI, CD, Mr Sampong (right), listens to the Manager in charge of image sector department demonstrates a production process at the Ghanaian Times Corporation

The Minister for Information, Mrs Zita Sabah Okaikoi, today paid a familiarisation visit to two state-owned media institutions, namely the Graphic Group of Companies and New Times Corporation respectively the publishers of mainstream Daily Graphic and the Ghanaian times to ascertain at first hand the operations of the institutions.

At Graphic, the Minister was met on arrival by the Managing Director, Mr Ibrahim Awal, the Chief Editor, Mr Ransford Tetteh and Mr Kwesi Owusu Asare General Manager in charge of marketing and Public Affairs.

In the company of the Chief Director of the Ministry, Mr Dominic A. Sampong, the Hon Minister noted that it has become necessary since she took office to interact with them and know at first hand the business of the two prominent state media, acknowledging the efforts of the media and how the government plans to resource the institutions to bring them to world class standard in terms of professionalism.

Mrs Okaikoi was full of praise for the level of credibility, balance, fairness and accuracy it exhibited during the just ended 2008 polls. This, she said, is the pivot around which Ghana's democracy can mature to the standards the international community will be proud of. This indicates that the company still maintains its core values of providing first hand info-educative programmes to Ghanaians.

As part of the recent global credit crunch, the Hon Minister encouraged management to introduce more innovative products such as the recently introduced Business Paper to curtail the global financial menace. Mrs Okaikoi, therefore, entreated other media houses to emulate the success chalked by the Graphic Corporation.

Mrs Okaikoi also applauded Graphic for instituting the Junior Graphic, stressing it will go a long way in efforts to empower Ghanaian children with timely information and knowledge to enable them to develop their talents in full.

Responding to the Minister's comment, the MD of Daily Graphic, Mr Ibrahim Awal, briefed the Hon Minister of the operations of the corporation, hinting that the Corporation was formed 60 years ago with an estimated 80 branches, adding that the corporation has since lived up to its mission of non-partisan media as well as giving discount to most advertising promos.

The MD indicated that the corporation plans to introduce more products to supplement the existing ones to boost production efficiently. He disclosed that the corporation has over the years been able to fulfill its civic responsibility, disclosing that it paid a colossal amount of GH ¢6million last year with the intention of adding GH¢ 10 million this year as part of their tax obligations.

Mr Awal stated that though, Graphic lacks some basic resources, 'the corporation would continue to strive to do its best to contribute to the democratic dispensation currently being enjoyed in the country.'

The Hon Minister was later conducted around some of the major facilities to have the opportunity on how the various operations like the Production Room, Production Machines Department and other facilities function.

The Hon Minister, who was impressed with the their work, assured them of government 's support to lift the image of the Corporation and intends to hold a dialogue with the National Media Commission on how best the petty problems in the Corporation can be resolve.

During her visit to the The Ghanaian Times, the Hon Minister was met on arrival by the Managing Director, Mr Kofi Asumaning, who noted that the Ghanaian Times was established by the first President, Dr Kwame Nkrumah, with publications such as the mainstream, The Ghanaian Times, The Spectator, and the Weekly Sporting Times.

The MD noted that the aim of its publications is to educate, while providing the truth and informing the public with credible issues and bring them to the attention of policy makers.