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General News of Saturday, 19 November 2011

Source: multi tv

Gabby questions rationale for establishing media fund

The Executive Director of the Danquah Institute, Gabby Asare Otchere Darko has questioned the relevance of government’s decision to establish a media fund as stated in the 2012 budget.

Speaking in a telephone interview on Multi TV’s BADWAM program, he described the fund as ‘subjective’.

Government in the 2012 budget stated that one of the reasons behind the establishment of the media fund was to improve media output and build the capacity of media personnel in the country, which will give professionals the opportunity to explore their areas of interest but according to Mr. Otchere Darko, the reasons cited are baseless.

“If you want to improve the output of Journalists in this country, there are several better ways to do that” he argued.

“Why do we have School of Communications or the Ghana Institute of Journalism? Government could invest in these institutions so that training of Journalists is improved” he said.

He suggested that the National Media Commission which is constitutionally mandated to check media standards in this country, could also be invested in.

“I know that the NMC has told government that one of its most important projects is to open its branches in all the ten regions in the country in order to adequately monitor media output. They submitted to government a budget of a little over 2million cedis, however government is yet to respond to it” he noted.

Mr. Otchere Darko who expressed his discomfort with the content of the 2012 budget, described it as not having a clear direction.

He indicated that the amount set aside for the monument is not enough to cater for the current public sector arrears pegged at about 1 billion cedis.

He also raised concerned about job creation especially for the youth, saying that the 2012 budget was not clear about how it intends to create jobs and how much it was allocating towards its implementation.

“The budget was also not clear on social interventions” he argued.

“The World Bank analysis indicates that poverty in Ghana has worsened recently. Educational standards have fallen. However, subsidies for B.E.C.E and Capitation Grant have been reduced from 33 million to 31 million for 2012, and that is unbelievable” he concluded.