By Christabel Addo-GNA
Accra, Feb 28, GNA - Mr Mustapha Abdul-Hamid, the Minister of Information, has called for an immediate stakeholder dialogue on the total diversification of the media from State control.
He said the media should be totally insulated from State control, arguing that “State-Owned Media” is an anomaly, which contradicts democracy and freedom of speech, and derails progress as well as national development.
“In my view, the difference between a democratic and an autocratic regime is a free media, and I believe the media should be insulated from State control,” he said.
Mr Abdul-Hamid made the call, when he paid a familiarisation visit to the office of the New Times Corporation in Accra on Tuesday, to acquaint himself with operations, and also solicit the collaboration of the institution in relaying government information to the
The Minister acknowledged the fact that the work of the media was such that it mirrored critical information through the accurate and timely reportage to and from government to the public, and needed that level of freedom to be able to build a healthy relationship for
He, however, said to actualise the level of media independence being advocated, would require the total support of both government and all other stakeholders in building an attractive investor environment to enhance the quality of their output.
He promised to ensure that all the debts owned by the Ministry were paid in the shortest possible time, and challenged other debtors to follow same in order to ensure the smooth running of the institution.
Mr Abdul-Hamid also gave the assurance that he would bring other legislative issues affecting the Corporation to the attention of Cabinet for action, and advocated other needs to enable the staff to function well.
The Minister was accompanied on his visit by some Directors and members of the Management including Mr John Yaw Adjei, the Chief Director of the Ministry of Information, and was led by Ms Carol Annang, the Managing Director of the New Times Corporation to tour the facility.
Ms Annang congratulated Mr Abdul-Hamid on his appointment as the Minister of Information and assured him of the full collaboration of her outfit in relaying information from government to the people.
She said the media would not relent on its role to criticise any wrong doing and demand for accountability it the need arises.
She complained about the low level of funding as well as the poor operating conditions under which the staff had to endure, saying although not a subvented institution, it expected a reimbursement capital by government before weaning it from its budget.
She called for the restructuring retooling and recapitalisation of the Corporation, to enable it to attract the needed investment and retain quality staff for effective operations.