|Media Should Unite The Country - Prof|
|Monday, 26 April 2010 08:35|
Professor Kwame Karikari, Executive Director, Media Foundation for West Africa, has appealed to the media to reposition itself and focus on issues of national unity and development.
He said the media has the power to either construct or destroy but argued that it should pursue national cohesion through news packaging and dissemination so as to help solve the numerous conflicts in the country.
Professor Karikari was addressing a Media Development Forum in Tamale in the Northern Region at the weekend which was attended by managers of radio stations from the Upper East, Upper West and Northern Regions on the theme: "The responsibility of the broadcaster in promoting free speech in a democracy."
The forum which was under the auspices of the foundation's Ghana Media Standards Improvement Project (GMSIP) was funded by the Royal Danish Embassy in Accra.
Some 40 participants from the three Northern Regions had a comprehensive assessment of media performance in terms of newspaper readership and radio listenership that provided for the managers an index of public attitudes and perceptions of their operations.
Prof. Karikari said if issues are not put right in the media front and the public lose confidence in their work, the nation will suffer.
He observed that many of the radio stations are stocked with unprofessional personnel some of whom are "polluting" the air with divisive messages that turn to disunite the country especially in the area of politics and ethnicity.”
He said the three northern regions have a lot of potential especially in the areas of sports and agricultural development to help the country to grow but unfortunately, they are the most afflicted with gruesome poverty, which needs to be tackled with all seriousness to reverse it.
He said journalists working in those areas should spearhead the crusade to market the north in a positive way to attract the needed investment to give employment to the youth saying: "There is the need for journalists to do positive stories on the Savanna Accelerated Development Authority (SADA) when it takes off."
Mr. Sam Nasamu Asabigi, Deputy Northern Regional Minister, appealed to the media to be more professional in their reportage about the north especially on conflict issues.
He said most of the time, some radio stations in Accra put individuals on air who speak as though representing groups, a situation he said if not stopped will continue to frustrate the efforts in solving conflicts in the north.
He said some District Assemblies in the Northern Region are now using a greater part of their Common fund to feed security personnel to the neglect of development projects, which is not helping in the development of the north.
Some participants expressed regret that certain journalists in the country are allowing themselves to be sponsored by political parties to publish falsehood against their perceived political opponents, which will continue to divide the country on political lines if not stopped.