Commercial media must have sense of public service

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Media

Dr Michael Serwornoo, a communication lecturer at the University of Cape Coast, has called on media houses to operate with a sense of public service and not just for financial gains.

He said with the plurality of the media space, most private-owned media were solely into commercial gains to the detriment of national interest in serving the public good.

Dr Serwornoo made these remarks at a panel discussion on the topic, “Media and Democracy” organised by the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC) and the Communication Educators Association of Ghana.

The event is part of a series of activities to commemorate the 85th Anniversary of GBC.

He said though media pluralism, liberalism was good for the development of democracy, it was worrying to observe that majority of them particularly private media, were neglecting the core duties of empowering the public voice.

“Most people these days establish media houses not to enhance public opinion but only for political, economic gains,” he said.

Dr Serwornu said this had revealed the need for the state to adequately finance public media houses to fill in the vacuum.

He said the role of the media was to serve as a bridge between the government and the public, thereby bringing government closer to them and enhancing democracy.

He reiterated that the role of the media was paramount to democratic development, saying, “however, it is a responsible media that promote democracy.”

Dr Theodora Adjina Tettey, a lecturer at the University of Professional Studies Accra, said media practitioners needed to be well renumerated and equipped with competent skills to practise.

She said the poor renumeration challenges of some professionals made it difficult for them to be diligent.

She called on the state to provide security to journalists especially investigative reporters in their line of duty, saying, they were susceptible to attacks.

Some of the participants called for the need to sanitize the local language media since most of them did not adhere to the guidelines of the National Media Commission.

Others called on journalists to exhibit high sense of professionalism in the discharge of the duties irrespective of the negative policy of their pay masters.

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