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14.04.2010 Politics

Akologo Cautions Media Against Sensationalism

By Daily Graphic
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Information Minister, John Akologo Tia, has expressed concern about what he describes as “the pollution of the airwaves and sensational headlines in newspapers.”

He said the operations of the media were not only causing public disaffection but was also reducing the confidence that the public had in the media.

“ The pollution of the airwaves and sensational headlines in the newspapers is gradually causing the public to lose confidence in the media and it is time some corrective measures were taken to redeem your image.”

Mr Akologo expressed the concern when he visited the offices of the Graphic Communications Group Limited (GCGL) in Kumasi.

He explained that headlines and contents were sometimes full of sentiments that created division among the public.

The minister indicated that the media was polarising the nation and it was time all stakesholders stood up and fought the danger.

“The media landscape should change for the better, especially, on issues concerning entry into the profession,” he said, adding, “This will ensure that products who come out acquire the requisite skills and professional acumen to deliver quality service to the reading and listening public,” he noted.

Mr Akologo spoke against the mushrooming of institutions supposed to be training people who professed to be journalists, stressing that “this is dangerous to the profession of which I am part”. 

He announced that plans were far advanced for his ministry to roll out a comprehensive national capacity building programme for media practitioners in the country.

The programme, the minister said, would cover journalists and other technical staff in news media organisations, as well as government officials who dealt with information management.

He said the ministry would undertake the exercise in conjunction with the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) and the National Media Commission (NMC) while the beneficiaries would be selected on merit.

Mr Akologo commended GCGL for its innovative policies and urged the company to adhere to the tenets of journalism to enhance national unity and accelerated socio-economic development. “But there is also the need to publish information that educates the public to eschew any form of divisive tendencies and cultivate the spirit of national unity, social cohesion and moral values for them to support sustainable national development,” he said.

A Deputy Minister of Information, Mr Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, urged the management of the GCGL to adopt moves that would make it possible for the company’s products to reach Tamale, Bolgatanga and Wa on time.

Earlier, the Zonal Manager of GCGL, Mr Oscar Tigayie, had appealed to the Ministry of Information to subsidise the Junior Graphic to enable as many children as possible to get access to the paper.

He pointed out that the management of GCGL had already subsidised the cost of the paper, but it seemed the price was still above many pupils.

The Ashanti Regional Editor of GCGL, Mr Kwame Asare Boadu, briefed the ministers on the new product Graphic Nsempa - which he said targeted readers mostly in the Ashanti and Brong-Ahafo regions.

He said the paper, which had two pages in Twi, was being produced on pilot basis and would be replicated in other regions when it became successful.

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