Ghana Embassy In Washington DC Holds RTI Forum
The Ghana Embassy in the United States will next month host a forum on the Right To Information (RTI) Bill, as the campaign for its passage gathers momentum.
The forum which is being organized by Washington DC-based communications firm Loud Silence Media on March 9, 2018, will discuss the benefits of the passage of the RTI bill and its subsequent effects on Ghana’s governance.
According to the founder of Loud Silence Media, Kevin Taylor, the forum is part of a campaign to ensure the passage of the RTI bill brings more benefits than disadvantages to Ghanaians.
“We have to understand that our right to free information comes with lots and lots of responsibilities. We have the responsibility to share information responsibly as individuals - especially as journalists,” Mr Taylor noted.
“We are using social media as the platform to share very sensitive and investigative news. We need to be a lot more cautious with that when the RTI bill is passed. We need to learn from people who have experience with such issues so we can brainstorm, and better be prepared,” he added.
A team of experts in information dissemination and social media management from diverse backgrounds will be empanelled to discuss the subject “the RTI bill and an era of social media.”
The forum will cover topics such as verifying facts on social media, combating fake news, breaking news online, photography and visual journalism in the digital age, as well as education on the tenets of the RTI Bill.
The proposed RTI Bill, which has been in Parliament for more than a decade without being passed, is expected to give the public access to information held by public institutions and private entities which use state funds.
The government has set a fresh timeline of May 2018 to get it passed. Mr Taylor says there will be major red flags in the media landscape when the bill is eventually passed that need to be looked at now.
“Many journalists are trained in radio or newspaper reporting but a lot more lack the skills needed for digital journalism and social media reporting. We are doing this in order to educate the media and public alike,” he explained.
Event Coordinator for the forum Oral Ofori who is the Founder of TheAfricanDream LLC disclosed Ghana's Ambassador to the U.S. Dr Barfuor Adjei Barwuah will be the special guest of honour at the event. It will be attended by tens of Ghanaians living in the US.
Mr Taylor’s Loud Silence Media which was founded in 2012 has over the years undertaken a number of projects aimed at helping advance the socio-economic development of the country.
In 2015, Mr Taylor received funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to produce a documentary on Ghana’s struggles with energy production and innovative power solutions in the country.
The resulting documentary, The Africa Energy Project was published internationally by Al Jazeera and other international media organizations.
In 2016, Mr Taylor launched With All Due Respect, an online television series that discusses running national issues with frankness and satire.