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Regional News of Friday, 1 January 2016

Source: GNA

Media Commission conveys New Year message

The National Media Commission (NMC) has extended New Year greetings to all Ghanaians, particularly journalists and other media workers and stakeholders of the media industry.

“It is noteworthy that our country currently ranks high on the list of countries that enjoy the free media in Africa and the world. Certainly Ghanaians are enjoying the constitutional guarantees of freedom of expression and an unfettered media. This is a national attribute that must be celebrated and preserved”, said a statement signed by Mr Kwasi Gyan-Apenteng, Chairman of the Commission and copied to the Ghana News Agency.

It said by and large, the Ghanaian media and journalists were contributing in a solid way towards the country’s economic, social, cultural and political development through educating, informing and entertaining the nation.

The media, it added, also sets the agenda for the public sphere, which in turn determines the content and conduct of policy discussions, debates and eventual choices.

“While we are proud of the role of the media in national development, we also have to concede that there are worrying trends in the work and conduct of media business that are of concern to the NMC and the nation as a whole. In recent times, the NMC has had occasion to call attention to some shortcomings that tend to undermine the media’s healthy contributions to nation building”, the statement said.

It indicated that the year 2016 was an election year and the media must be aware of its unique responsibility for ensuring that the country went through all the phases of the general election peacefully and in a manner that would enhance a free and fair poll.

The NMC said professionalism was what was required for the media to achieve those noble outcomes. “Professionalism means checking facts, correcting mistakes at the first opportunity, and providing access to all sides involved in any issue within the media landscape”.

The Commission called on Ghanaians to respect and protect the freedom and independence of the media because they constitute the bedrock of the many other freedoms that the people enjoyed in the country’s democratic dispensation.

In this regard, the NMC advised Ghanaians to desist from causing any violence or intimidation against journalists, media workers and media institutions and urged people who have any grievances against the media to come to the Commission for possible redress.

“It is our hope that the year 2016 will be a year in which we experience greater media responsibility and reciprocal appreciation of the media by the public it serves”, the statement said.