The Executive Director of Northern Patriots in Research and Advocacy (NORPRA), Bismark Ayorogo, has commended media practitioners in the Upper East Region for their immense contributions towards regional development. Speaking at a public lecture organised by the GJA on the occasion of the World Press Freedom Day in Bolgatanga, the Upper East Regional capital, Mr. Ayorogo explained that for the media to continue to play its role effectively, the freedoms of practitioners must be protected.
“If the freedoms of the media are curtailed, it means that all of us are doomed. You provide light where there is darkness for people to see what is happening.”
“If the GSS were to calculate the GDP of the Upper East Regional economy and we were to unpack or disaggregate the individual sector contribution to that GDP, certainly, I have no doubt that the media contribution to the development would go above 60 percent. This means that over the years, it has created a lot of impact on the lives of the people in this region. We can’t but say thank you for your contributions.”
Mr. Ayorogo went on to suggest that World Press Freedom Day should serve as a reminder to journalists of Amartya Sen’s book, Development of Freedom, which won the Indian Nobel Peace Prize.
“In that book, he argues philosophically and economically that any society that has its GDP or incomes doubled and still suffers from issues of freedom and rife abuse, that society or country, is far from being described as developed. It means that freedom is key to everything,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Upper East Regional Director of the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), Jalaldeen Abdulai, has encouraged the protection of media rights and freedom. Lawyer Abdulai explained that until the media is adequately protected, it will not be able to discharge its role adequately.
Lawyer Abdulai made these statements when he spoke at a lecture to commemorate this year’s World Press Freedom Day. It was hinged on the agenda “Shaping a Future of Rights: Freedom of Expression as a Driver for All Other Human Rights towards Ghana’s Development.”
“The importance of freedom of the press and freedom of expression cannot be overstated. The press provides a platform for many voices to be heard, it serves as the public watchdog, an activist for the people, an educator on issues of public interest, and an entertainer. A free press can convey the people’s needs to the government, inform citizens of the successes and failures of their leaders, and also provide a platform for the exchange of information and ideas. Press freedom is a crucial indicator of democracy, thus, restriction of the media breaks down the above importance of the media, leading to poor outcomes for governments and citizens,” he said.
Lawyer Abdulai explained that the rights and freedoms of the media are protected by the 1992 Constitution.
World Press Freedom Day is an annual event that is celebrated on May 3rd to promote and defend the freedom of the press and to recognise the importance of a free and independent media in democratic societies. This day was established by the United Nations General Assembly in 1993 to raise awareness of the importance of press freedom and to remind governments of their duty to respect and uphold the right to freedom of expression.
World Press Freedom Day serves as an opportunity to celebrate the fundamental principles of press freedom, assess the state of press freedom around the world, defend the media from attacks on their independence, and pay tribute to journalists who have lost their lives while doing their jobs. Each year, a theme is chosen to focus on a particular aspect of press freedom, and events and discussions are organised around the world to raise awareness and promote action towards improving the state of press freedom globally.
Source: A1radioonline.com|101.1MHz|Mark Kwasi Ahumah Smith|Ghana