The Minister-designate for Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, has said that it is not enough to be talking about the safety of journalists without supporting the National Media Commission to provide the needed safety mechanism for them.
As the fourth realm of the estate, he said, the media need to be provided with the needed support from various stakeholders to protect themselves from any form of harm.
Mr Oppong Nkrumah said this when he appeared before Parliament’s Appointment Committee yesterday for his vetting.
He also urged Ghanaians not to be quick in attributing every attack on a media practitioner to mean an attack on the media profession. He noted that some of the attacks may be borne out of issues beyond the profession the victim is engaged in, adding that clustering every attack on a media person as attack on the profession may not be accurate and can mar investigations.
Partners in development
He said the governing NPP sees journalists as partners in development, and has consequently done a lot to improve the media landscape, adding that state-owned media like Ghana News Agency, Ghana Broadcasting Corporation and Ghanaian Times can attest to the support from the government.
The Information Minister-designate cited an increase in the number of staff of the Information Services Department (ISD), from 921 to 987 in the last four years, and the government’s provision of laptops to facilitate their work as a show of commitment to the work of the media.
Mr Oppong Nkrumah further mentioned the establishment of Information Technology divisions at the ISD to provide and monitor information flow to the various Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies as part of measures to equip the staff of the service to give up their best in their line of duty.
He reiterated that ISD staff, under the NPP government, are fully equipped to perform their roles, and are no longer seen as protocol officers running errands for ministers of state and agencies as it used to be the case in the past.