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But for gov’t’s conduct, organizing media capacity shouldn’t be a problem – Edudzi

Private media practitioner, Gordon Edudzi Tameklo has said the conduct of the government against accountability institutions, whether state or private, is leading to suspicion and mistrust in the decision to organize capacity building for media practitioners in Ghana.

Mr Tameklo who is also a member of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) underscored that capacity building for all workers is apt because it enhances the knowledge and skills of the workers.

But the government is receiving flak for sponsoring the media training because of its own conduct when it comes to accountability, he said.

Edudzi Tameklo was speaking on the New Day show with Johnnie Hughes on TV3 Tuesday January 11 regarding the National Media Capacity Enhancement programme, a programme designed by the government through the Ministry of Information to provide training for some 250 journalists annually across the country.

The decision by the government to train the journalists has been criticised by some observers.

For instance, Deputy National Youth Oragnsier of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Edem Agbana who raised issues against the government being the organizer of this capacity enhancement programme, indicated that this has the propensity of compromising the journalists who are supposed to be neutral.

He believed that the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) should have been the organizers of such an event, not the government.

The government should not be the organizer of this event, Agbana said.

He further asked the GJA to take up the issue of welfare of journalists seriously.

“The Ghana Journalists Association must sit-up on the issues of welfare of journalists. We need to have a whole conversation about the welfare of journalists,” he said.

Sharing his views also on this topic, Edudzi Tameklo said “The suspicion of influence is heightened because of the character of the people we are dealing with. In every democracy, there are established accountability institutions or agencies. Some are governmental, some are private. You note that in the superior wisdom of the makers of the 1992 constitution they decided that at all material time, the media ought to have a certain level of autonomy because of the critical role they play as the watchdog.

“We also do know that the media also engages in the areas of informing and entertaining. . Unless of course there are defefficenies then you would want to intervene .

“Ordinarily, there shouldn’t be anything wrong with building the capacities of people. Even as lawyers we do what is called continues legal education, other institutions allow that. But when you have a government that is opposed to any form of accountability then any intervention from from them to provide capacity building to the media would already be seen with a lot of suspicion and mistrust.”

Information Minister, Kojo Oppong had said the media capacity training for journalists was being provided by independent group of industry stakeholders.

The National Media Commission (NMC), Ghana Journalists Association (GJA), Ghana Independent Broadcasters Association (GIBA), Private Newspaper Publishers Association (PRINPAG), Institute of Professional Studies (IPS), Communication Educators, Association of Ghana Civil Society Groups in Media and selected leading journalists and media houses worked together to set up an independent working group that is collaborating to enhance the capacity of Ghanaian journalists to ensure they deliver on their mandate, he said.

“The needs assessment , curriculum development , administration of training is all being done by this independent group of industry stakeholders.

“Our commitment as a government is to provide scholarship for 250 beneficiaries who will be selected by the committee to participate in the programme for the year 2022,” the Ofoase Ayirebi lawmaker said in series of tweets.

 

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