Friday, 23 February

Uphold journalists' rights - Oppong Nkrumah tells judges

The country' judges with the President at the Jubilee House

Freedom of expression is the "cornerstone" of every democratic society, Information Minister Kojo Oppong Nkrumah said, noting "it is a fundamental right that must be protected and upheld". 

At the opening ceremony of a training workshop for judges on Monday, 4 December 2023 in Accra, Mr Oppong Nkrumah said: "We cannot, however, discuss freedom of expression without press freedom and recognising the important role journalists play in our society".

“It is our duty to create an environment where journalists can carry out their work without fear of violence or intimidation", the Ofoase Ayirebi MP told the judges. 

He stressed: "We must condemn any form of violence against journalists and take concrete steps to provide them with the necessary protection and support".

The workshop focused on the importance of safeguarding journalists' freedom of expression and ensuring their safety.

In pursuit of fostering a safe and conducive environment for journalists, the government, led by Nkrumah, has taken measures through the Ministry of Information to support the media sector.

Commencing in 2019, these endeavours have yielded key interventions addressing challenges encountered by the media industry.

A notable initiative involves the establishment of the Office of the Coordinated Mechanism on the Safety of Journalists (CMSJ) under the National Media Commission (NMC). 

Operating with a comprehensive framework, this office engages all stakeholders to ensure a secure environment for journalism practice, prevent violence against journalists, protect those at risk, and prosecute perpetrators of violence.

Under the Media Capacity Enhancement Programme (MCEP), the ministry is actively engaged in training 250 journalists on emerging issues in journalism. This collaborative effort seeks to strengthen the media sector, which has encountered escalating challenges in recent times.

The complete implementation of the Right to Information (RTI) Law includes the training and deployment of RTI officers in nearly 600 government offices nationwide. The establishment of the RTI Commission has played a pivotal role in ensuring adherence to the RTI Act by public offices.

Furthermore, the ministry has facilitated a comprehensive consultation on a new Broadcasting Bill, aimed at enhancing the effective regulation of the broadcasting sector by state institutions. Collectively, these initiatives underscore the government's unwavering commitment to supporting and fortifying the media landscape in response to evolving challenges