President John Dramani Mahama has called on media practitioners to institute measures that would dissuade Journalists from abusing the media freedom and help deepen the country’s democracy.
He said speculations, wild allegations, mudslinging and sensationalism that were gradually creeping into the Ghanaian media landscape are negating the tremendous gains the media has made since the inception of the 1992 constitution.
President Mahama made this call when he launched the redesigned Daily Graphic newspaper at the premises of the Graphic Group Communications Limited on Friday.
Apart from increasing the pages of the newly designed Daily Graphic, the paper has also included women and metropolitan news pages, with graphical images and bolder text to make it acceptable at all levels of society.
President Mahama said tarnishing of the reputation of innocent citizens, the use of abusive language on the visual and electronic media could impact negatively on children who would soon receive the mantle of development in the next few years.
“These unguided conduct have negative implications for the development of our children and the nation as a whole. The truth is that, we cannot speak of rights without paying attention to our responsibilities,” the President added.
The President called on media organizations to organize training and retraining programmes, which he believed would help to overcome the professional difficulties that the practitioners and organizations were currently experiencing.
He said the role of the media was paramount to the government and they would therefore play their roles meaningfully to support the media to discharge its duties professionally and ethically in all aspects of society.
President Mahama commended the Company for performing creditably since they weaned themselves from government subvention, adding that their performance indicated that Ghanaian companies were capable of managing their own affairs given the necessary environment to operate.
He reminded media practitioners to continue to uphold their role of holding the government and public officials accountable to the people to ensure participatory democracy in the entire country in the coming years.
Mr Ken Ashigbey, Managing Director of the Group, explained that the redesigning had become relevant on account of the Company’s resolve to provide interactivity and to deepen their performance to satisfy their growing customers.
He promised that the Company would continue to deliver on their constitutional mandate by contributing meaningfully to the overall development of the country.
“The redesign is also to grow the entire print industry as the mark of great business leaders is to create solutions for tomorrow, today and to execute flawlessly.”
Dr Doris Dartey, Board Chairperson of the Group, gave the assurance that the new design would enhance their chances of rubbing shoulders with internationally recognized newspapers such as New York Times among others.