Madam Fatimatu Abubakar, Deputy Minister of Information, said that the foundations of the country’s democracy have been consolidated and solidified by the power of broadcasting.
She said that radio remains one of the most relevant and powerful communication tools that have shaped all spheres of society due to its ability and reliability to reach the greatest number of people across the world. world.
Mrs. Abubakar, speaking at a durbar to culminate the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC) Volta Star Radio Silver Jubilee celebration in Ho, Volta Region, said that many notable moments and history of the country had been transmitted by radio.
She said that the theme: “25 years of broadcasting, the socio-cultural effect on listeners” implied that the media had practically become a part of people’s lives with enormous influence on society.
The Deputy Minister of Information said the importance and impact of broadcasting had been enormous since the start of state broadcasting in Ghana in 1935, with the establishment of Radio ZOY and later the Gold Coast Broadcasting Service (GCBS).
She highlighted the role of radio in enhancing nation building, entertainment and education and as a powerful communication tool enabling vulnerable and illiterate people to participate in public debate.
Ms Abubakar said that for the power of the radio most people, especially the most vulnerable, would have been cut off from the national discourse, and commended the GBC for its tenacity in continuing to reach out to remote communities to give voice to the voiceless.
The Deputy Minister of Information said that Ghana’s media landscape continues to be toasted and envied by many around the world and the government intends to support it to maintain this feat.
Section 21(1)(f) of the 1992 Constitution grants every Ghanaian, including media houses, the right to information concerning public sector affairs and governance in general. It is in this context that the government, through parliament, passed the Right to Information Act 2019 (Act 989) which was assented to by Her Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on May 21 2019, she said.
The law, she said, was intended to empower people and the media to access information about central and local governments as well as publicly funded non-governmental organizations.
The Ministry of Information, she added, was setting up right to information offices and one-stop shops in ministries and government departments across the country to facilitate access to information. information in these institutions.
Ms. Abubakar said the government and the president had demonstrated their determination to deepen the country’s democracy by empowering journalists and the media through the passage of the RTI law.
She encouraged the media to use the RTI Act as a means to foster transparency and accountability in public affairs, saying that “if properly applied, the law could be a vital tool in the fight against corruption in public life. “.
The Deputy Minister of Information said the government was not oblivious to the challenges facing media operations in Ghana and had not let up on its efforts to support the work of the media.
The Ministry of Information, she noted, in 2019 worked with the media, stakeholder groups and academics to help develop support programs that were crucial to the work of the media.
She said that the ministry in August this year also organized a conference for development partners and stakeholders to rally support and funding for the media in the area of capacity building and continued creation of media. conducive and safe environment for media professionals.
If we are serious about getting the media to practice professionally and to high standards, then society at large needs to take an interest in how to help the media with intervention programs, he said. she declared.