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13.03.2006 General News

Media must access its performances regularly - Botwe

By GNA

Axim (W/R) March 13, GNA - Mr Dan Botwe, Minister of Information has stated that government did not repeal the Criminal Libel law in order to influence the media to support its activities. "We removed the laws to enable the media to work in freedom and perform better", he said in an address at the opening of Ankobra 101.9 FM, a private radio station at Axim on Monday.

Mr. Kojo Armah, a Member of Parliament for Evalue-Gwira in the Nzema East district owns the station.

Mr. Botwe said to access the performances of the media on society and its contributions to national development, the media must regularly re-examine its activities and see if it was contributing to societal good.

He said without self-assessment, the media could not know the impact of its activities on the society, the government and the governed.

He urged chiefs, politicians, teachers, Doctors, journalists and all other Ghanaians to re-examine their roles and ensure that their activities can promote national development.

He said out of 140 licenses granted to individuals wishing to operate FM stations, only 84 were operational.

Mr. Botwe said the networking and partnership of radio stations with others outside their areas of operation, was affecting their relations with their communities.

FMs were expected to be community oriented but the focus on Accra by all regional and district FMs was not part of the original idea, for their being granted licenses, he added.

"FM stations should focus on their communities and assist them to develop the local languages, cultures, diseases, promote NHIS, reduced poverty, fight drug abuse, unemployment and assist farmers to use the weather effectively in their farming activities," he reiterated. Mr. Botwe said local language newspapers would soon be introduced to encourage more people to read and know about latest developments in their communities.

He later launched the Nzema version of the President's State of the Nation address and distributed copies to the general public. Mr. Joshua K. Allimah, Nzema East DCE, appealed to the staff of Ankobra FM to avoid sensationalism. 13 March 06

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