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General News of Thursday, 30 August 2007

Source: GNA

Information Minister tours private media houses

Accra, Aug. 30, GNA - The Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mrs. Oboshie Sai-Cofie on Thursday appealed to the private media to support government in its quest to re-orient the Ghanaian society.

She said the media had a crucial role to play in helping build a more responsible society through sensitizing the public on the core values of national pride, productive response to time, self-belief and the need to put Ghana first in all issues.

"Government's desire for orientation can best be achieved with media support," Mrs. Sai-Cofie said at a number of private media houses in Accra during her weekly familiarization tour dubbed; "Media walkabout".

The tour took the Minister, accompanied by her deputy, Mr. Frank Agyekum and the Government Spokesperson on Infrastructure, Mrs. Catherine Afeku to the offices of Joy FM, Hitz Radio and Top Radio. They also visited the offices of The Insight, The Statesman, Heritage and the Daily Guide Newspapers.

Mrs. Sai-Cofie also appealed to the media to refrain from the use of profane and foul language since a lot of the citizenry picked their language from the media. Admitting the fact that government did not give the private media enough advertisements, Mrs. Sai-Cofie, urged them to collaborate and organize a stakeholders' forum, where such issues would be properly addressed.

At Joy FM Mrs Sai-Cofie praised the station, saying they were market leaders.

"You should not relent in your pursuit of excellence," she told the staff who was represented by the General Manager, Mr. Kwesi Asare, the Programmes Manager, Mr Kofi Owusu and Ms Matilda Asate, News Editor.

Expressing his appreciation to government for the prevailing media environment, Mr Owusu said nothing should be done to take away the freedom of the media or to kill the industry.

At Top Radio, Mr .George Adomako, General Manager, praised the Information Minister for her visit, saying it was the first by a sitting Minister since the establishment of the station.

At The Insight, Mr Kwesi Pratt appealed to the Ministry to intervene and stop the frequent harassments from the Auditor Generals' office on their accounts.

"I operate in accordance with the law yet I am constantly being harassed," he said, adding that there were a number of multinational companies who were evading tax and needed to be checked.

Mrs. Gina Blay, Editor, Daily Guide, appealed to government to give the private media advertisements since throughout the world, newspaper publications survived on 60 per cent advertisements.

The Minister and her entourage later visited the "37 Lorry Station", where renovation works were on-going. She urged the contractor to speed up the work so that vehicles could move back to the station to ease congestion on the wings of the 37-Burma camp road.