The Minister for Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, has urged stakeholders in the broadcast industry to be tolerant of multiple views and perspectives in the delivery of radio programming as part of efforts to improve diversity on radio.
According Mr Oppong Nkrumah, increasing the level of tolerance, while expressing one’s views, is crucial because it ensures that diversity penetrates through radio signals and affect content from the medium.
Speaking on the occasion of the 2020 World Radio Day, commemorated under the theme “Diversity in Radio”, the Minister of Information cautioned broadcast journalists to stop pushing their views down the throat of their listeners.
“There is a growing tendency of many of us who want to force our opinions down the ears and the minds of everybody else, and if it is not our opinion, then everybody else is wrong,” he observed.
Mr Oppong Nkrumah, who is also the MP for Ofoase Ayirebi, encouraged the media to design radio content that will promote diversity of opinions from the marginalised and the minority.
“The views of these kind of people must be reflected in the kind of conversations we want to have so that we don’t end up being the judges of the discussion, but also that the consumer at home benefits from the various perspectives and, in the end, makes up his or her mind,” he added.
World Radio Day
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) set aside the February 13 of each year to celebrate radio as a way of educating people, providing information and promoting freedom of expression across varied cultures.
According to the UNESCO, the day was set aside to primarily “raise greater awareness among the public and the media of the importance of radio; to encourage decision makers to establish and provide access to information through radio; as well as to enhance networking and international cooperation among broadcasters”.
Meanwhile, the Eastern Regional branch of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) has encouraged broadcasters and all media workers to be guided by the canons of best journalistic practice, especially during this electioneering year.
A statement signed by the regional chairman, Maxwell Kudekor, urged radio broadcasters to consistently maintain diversity in the newsroom and airwaves to ensure variety of content and voices for its varied audiences.
“As we celebrate the relevance of radio worldwide, we employ all stakeholders to defend and promote free, independent and pluralistic radio landscape since it is the underlying principle of democracy and the rule of law,” the statement added.
Mr Kudekor used the opportunity to remind media owners that they owe it a duty to improve on the working conditions of broadcasters and to ensure they employ professionals.
“The media fraternity and media personnel continue to face the challenge of low remuneration and generally poor working conditions. This hampers negatively on best journalistic practices in the country and needs urgent attention,” the statement said.