Mr Albert Kofi Owusu, the General Manager of the Ghana News Agency, has urged journalists to positively impact society through their reportage for accelerated national development.
“Journalism has offered you the opportunity to positively impact your community and country so make the best out of it, speak for the vulnerable, and let society benefit from your profession,” he said.
Mr Owusu said this during a working visit to the Tema Regional Office of the Ghana News Agency (GNA) to interact with the staff and discuss pertinent issues for the development of the Agency.
He encouraged interns and personnel of National Service and Nation Builders Corps (NABCO), attached to media organisations, not see their work as a stop-gap but a great opportunity to build a career for themselves while contributing to national development.
“Journalists are highly respected as they know a lot about every sector be it, health, industry, environment, agriculture, business, among others. So don’t limit yourselves, open up to possibilities and read a lot to acquire the needed knowledge,” he said.
Mr Owusu said though monetary gains were important, much of the focus must also be on upgrading of knowledge and work improvement as it would take a trained mind to identify the most critical stories.
“You must know how to build contacts as a journalist. If you are a journalist without contacts you are dead,” he stated.
He said the Agency remained a powerful institution, which was taking the commanding lead in news dissemination to its growing list of subscribers, both local and global, through improvement in technology.
A research conducted by the National Media Commission revealed that about 80 per cent of radio stations outside Accra depended heavily on GNA to operate, therefore the Agency was putting in measures to provide audio and videos to properly serve the needs of its varied clients including television and online portals, Mr Owusu said.
“What it means is that people need GNA because we are the live wire of communication in Ghana, just like Reuters, CNN and the BBC we are very crucial,” he said.
Mr Francis Ameyibor, the Tema Regional Manager of the GNA, said the media had the responsibility to ensure national cohesion and unity, adding: “bad news should not be the only one to sell but good ones must also get prominence”.
He said society looked up to the media for information and so the media must live up to that expectation and be the voice of the voiceless.