A Government of the Convention Peoples Party (CPP) would revamp the Ghana News Agency as part of government’s comprehensive communication policy to harness the information arm of the State to build a viable, united Ghana. The government media transformation agenda would hinge largely on the GNA to provide effective news to feed both local and international media and also a critical function that strengthens media institutional operations.
“Within the context of the 1992 Constitution, we pledge to uphold all the freedoms granted to the media in this country,” Mr Ivor Kobina Greenstreet, CPP 2016 Presidential Nominee told the GNA in Accra.
The CPP Presidential Nominee noted that the GNA must be re-structured to play a lead role in the development of the country through dissemination of high quality news and information throughout Ghana, Africa and the World.
Mr Greenstreet who was explaining the party’s policy direction towards the media also admitted that with freedoms must come responsibilities and the assurance that media work conforms to the values of the society.
He said a CPP Government would see to the immediate passage of the Right to Information Bill, and the Ghana Broadcasting Bill, as well as empower the National Film and Television Institute, the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation, Ghanaian Times, and Graphic Communications Group Limited.
He said a CPP Government would work closely within the Constitution to empower the National Media Commission (NMC) to play its role effectively while strengthening relationship with the Ghana Journalists Association, Ghana Independent Broadcasters Association, and other media outlets.
Mr Greenstreet, said the agency has over the years maintained a very strong working relationship with the Electoral Commission, and National Commission for Civic Education and “we will make maximum use of to the benefit of Ghanaians, which will also impact positively on the project”.
He said a CPP Government would provide platforms that raise and amplify the voices of the vulnerable, women, youth, marginalised and deprived communities and groups, and enable them to define and articulate issues of importance to them.
The CPP Presidential Nominee noted the need to deepen and increase media capacity, including local language media, to generate and circulate quality information with which citizens could make informed decisions and choices and hold duty bearers accountable for their actions.
Mr Greenstreet said CPP Government would raise the broadcast standards through the creation of a Broadcast Standards Board (BSB) to ensure that the nation’s airwaves are free of images and messages that undermine social and moral values, such as the glorification of violence and the degradation of women in movies and music.
Touching on Advertising in Ghana, he said a CPP Government would outlaw the use of foreign-made commercials on Ghanaian airwaves as a way to help local media houses build their capacity and create employment while promoting a Ghanaian view of social and economic reality.
He said the CPP would also regulate the quality of advertisements to strike a balance between commercial interests and social values; build media capacity with various professional organisations to help raise the quality of media practice in Ghana to world standards.
Professor Edmund Nminyem Delle CPP Chairman noted that the Party’s media reforms would also focus the general agenda, which is more in tune with public needs and away from a perceived bias toward corporate (or, in many cases, government or political) biases.
He said: “Our government will place strong emphasis on creating enabling environment to those who are marginalised or semi-marginalised by their individual incomes, immutable characteristics or desperate conditions to possess access to means of publication and dissemination of information”.
Prof Delle said the NMC would be empowered through legislative structures to make it more functional. He said a CPP Government would transform the media landscape through legislative packages that would significantly reshape Ghana’s media industry.
He said: “The journalists must be paid his due, there must be laws to protect him, and we must create the enabling environment for him to work effective without looking behind.