Mr Mark Woyongo, Upper East Regional Minister has called on the media to focus on rural reporting in order to provide information on development issues taking place in local communities. Mr Woyongo stressed that a number of important events which were newsworthy happened in the hinterland but were not brought to public notice. “Most of you do not make the least effort to go to the action spots to see things and bring them to the attention of the public for the necessary action to be taken,” he said. Mr Woyongo made the call at a press soiree in Bolgatanga, which he used to launch President John Atta Mills “action year programme”. He urged journalists to report on issues that were relevant to the development of the country. The Regional Minister advised hosts of talk shows to control their guests and serial callers who used abusive and unacceptable language against others. “While it is generally accepted that liberalisation of the media landscape is meant to enhance democratic credentials through debate and newspaper publications… It is nevertheless intended to malign decent citizens who have gained their reputation through years of toil.” Mr Woyongo said even though the criminal libel law had been repealed from the country’s statutory books, it did not exonerate writers from legal suits. He announced plans to tackle water problems in the region, adding that funds had been procured for the construction of bore holes and the installation of a new water treatment plant for Bolgatanga, to meet the increasing demand of the commodity in the area. Mr Woyongo commended the media for the good work they do in spite of the challenges facing them. Mr Eric Amoh, Regional Chairman of the Ghana Journalists Association, called on journalists to cross check their reports with the relevant sources before publishing them. He said a libellous report and those that sought to malign people killed faster than “an over dose of common drugs such as Paracetamol and Aspirin”. Mr Amoh said journalists were not enemies of the people and asked politicians not to be selective about the media house they invited for assignments.
Source: Ghana News Agency