Koforidua, May 4, GNA - Participants at a forum in Koforidua on Wednesday, to mark World Press Freedom Day, have called on the media not to concentrate on political issues to the neglect of socio-economic and other important concerns of the people.
The celebration was the theme "The role of the media in poverty reduction."
Speaking at the forum organised by the Eastern Regional branch of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA), the New Juaben Municipal Chief Executive, Nana Kwasi Adjei Boateng, stated that even though the media had contributed to national development, it was concentrating on politics.
Mr Justice Akuffo Henaku, Zonal Co-ordinator of the Social Investment Fund (SIF) for the Eastern and Volta Regions, outlined the Ghana Poverty Reduction Strategy (GPRS).
He noted that even though the market might demand more emphasis on political issues, it was important for media practitioners to judge what topics were of importance and would serve public good. The media should monitor and evaluate poverty alleviation programmes in the search for alternative solutions to the problems encountered during the implementation stage, Mr Akuffo Henaku said.
The SIF Zonal Co-ordinator stated that deepening the nation's democratic governance required public involvement in the implementation of policies, such as poverty reduction.
He charged the media to lead the crusade by providing the public with an avenue to control any excesses by the state and its agents, especially as an advocate for the poor and helpless. Mr Justin Jebaraj, Senior Lecturer, All Nations University, Koforidua, called for the redesigning of media activities to create awareness on poverty reduction programmes.
He stressed the importance of community radio stations to reach many people, especially in the rural areas, since they did not have access to the visual and print media.
Mr Jebaraj called on civil society organisations in the areas of poverty reduction and wealth creation to work closely with the media. Mr Tom Brentuo, Eastern Regional Chairman of the GJA, called on journalists to promote efforts aimed wealth creation in the society.