Francis Ameyibor, GNA
Accra, Dec. 5, GNA – Mr Albert Kofi Owusu, the General Manager of Ghana News Agency on Wednesday lauded the contribution of media practitioners in the nation’s development and stressed that the media landscape needs a lot more dynamism and a paradigm shift to aid nation building efforts.
“A vibrant media industry serves as a vital link between the government and people, provides voice to the voiceless, plays active role in the fight against corruption, injustice, and exploitation of the less privilege.
“But tyrannical media is a country’s worst nightmare; Ghanaian media must therefore guard and guide against journalistic dictatorship, especially with the advent of social media craze,” Mr Kofi Owusu stated in an interview in Accra.
The GNA General Manager noted the urgent need for a paradigm shift in the media structure, so that journalists would serve as champions of developmental change; “media must serve as a weapon for acceleration of development.
“We must enlarge our news coverage, let us focus more on agricultural journalism, science and climate change related issues, culture and traditional norms, tourism, and eco-tourism. We must sell Ghana to the global market through every story we churn out”.
Mr Kofi Owusu said; “I believe in progressive change for development, and this is where the GNA, under my leadership, will marshal all its stakeholders including Staff, Management, Reporters, and Stringers alike to revamp the agency’s news operations to help position Ghana on the international scene as a major investment destination”.
He said the classical model of news collection and dissemination, which is at the core of GNA operations has been undermined by the Internet and other factors; “the Internet challenge has brought to the fore the need to explore a wider field of news opportunities to sharpen media focus and bring a lot of depth to our reportage, particularly as the GNA seeks to deepen its relationship with subscribers and consumers of news in general”.
He said as a General Manager assuming office at a critical period of the agency; together with the Board of Directors, Management and Staff “we shall work to provide solutions to the emerging challenges in news coverage.
“Take advantage of modern technological tools to enhance speed and accuracy of news reporting. This calls for an all-inclusive approach for the total transformation of the media industry and its impact on national development.
“We must work together to develop a forward looking strategy that would help the Agency anticipate and adapt effectively to change, and in the process re-evaluate its role, mission and performance, in the fast changing media environment. GNA must continue to play a leading role in the country’s developmental structure,” he said.
He said; “We must build a new GNA News Brigade, who would be well motivated to hunt for news around the country. We must feed our subscribers with targeted news to meet their needs”.
He said personnel training and professionalism would form the core of the mandate to change the agency, stressing that, “GNA would build an effective networking platform across the media landscape”.
The GNA General Manager said together with management and total support from the Board and Staff, “we would cultivate a more entrepreneurial climate within GNA to help it compete against other news suppliers as we explore other news market opportunities”.
He said whilst the agency adopts modern efforts to remain vibrant in the changing phase of the media, especially as a wire serve, “we would preserve our mission to serve the information needs of the nation as a whole through a strong commitment to principles of national inclusiveness, accuracy, speed and objectivity.
“At the same time modernize the basic mission of GNA and its public service functions, using different organizational vehicles and technologies, to move away from the typical public service goals of a non-profit entity to a period of cost efficiency and profit maximization”.
Mr. Kofi Owusu also commended the previous and current Board of Directors, Management and Staff of the agency for their significant contributions to sustaining the agency.