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22.11.2004 Regional News

MP appeals for understanding from media

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Swedru (C/R), Nov. 22, GNA - Mr Gabriel Amoah, Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Local Government and Rural Development, has said that the media would have to take into account the socio-cultural settings within which Members of Parliament worked before being critical of their work.

He said MPs had to combine work in Parliament with equally important engagements such as meeting with constituents.

Mr Amoah was reacting to media criticisms that MPs were often late to Parliament, or at times, found loitering while work was going on in the chamber or simply drinking tea when serious business was going on in Parliament.

The criticisms came up during a workshop on the District Assemblies' Common Fund (DACF), organised by the office of the Administrator of the DACF for the Parliamentary Press Corps at Swedru in the Central Region.

The workshop was to apprise members of the Press Corps on the mechanisms involved in the disbursement of the fund.

Mr Amoah, who is also the NPP Member of Parliament for Bosome-Freho, said MPs in Ghana were forced to meet their constituents at Parliament House, unlike other MPs in other legislative assemblies, who could only be seen by appointment or through the office of the Clerk to Parliament.

"MPs in Ghana are often late to the chamber because they are always being waylaid by constituents and it will be impolite within our socio-cultural settings to just ignore such people."

On some MPs described as seat warmers who never talked in Parliament, Mr Amoah said some of his colleagues did not like talking too much because of biased media reportage and that others preferred talking on issues instead of just playing to the gallery.

Mr Yaw Boadu-Ayeboafo, Editor of the Daily Graphic, who spoke on the media and reporting of development issues, mentioned fairness, balance, tone of coverage, placement of stories and visibility as some areas that media practitioners needed to work at to ensure professionalism.

He said practitioners should also do more to push development stories forward, adding that there was overemphasis on political stories.

"Most television stations run programmes that highlight the process of development, especially the rural areas."

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