The Minister for Information, Kojo Oppong-Nkrumah has charged the media to abreast themselves with the provisions of the Right To Information RTI Act so as to be in a better position to enlightening the public.
He also urged the media to use the Act to source for factual information that will encourage reliable discourse with public office holders.
Mr. Oppong-Nkrumah said this at a media forum on the RTI organised by Chevening Alumni in collaboration with Ghana Journalist Association and the Media Foundation for West Africa in Accra.
“Journalists must be abreast with the Act to be able to communicate accurately to the public”, he stated.
Mr. Oppong-Nkrumah stated that the foundation of every domestic society is based on the people’s right to information adding that “they would not be able to hold the people they elected accountable without factual information”.
He noted that Article 21(1)F of the Constitution gives Ghanaians the right to information which according to him the RTI Act was a procedural Act which exerts the benefit of Article 21(1)F.
Mr. Oppong-Nkrumah therefore cautioned the media against using the RTI to pursue an agenda that would misinform the public.
The President of the Ghana Journalists Association, Affail Monney, said the enactment of the RTI Law and its implementation is the problem adding that; the implementation of the law would not be a happenstance.
He explained that this would take the dint of will and the provision of structures to arrive at the desired destination of effective RTI regime.
Mr. Monney urged the media to act professionally and despise the implementation challenges of the RTI Act.
The RTI Law seeks to give effect, to Article 21 (1) (f) of the 1992 constitution of the Republic of Ghana which states that “All persons shall have the right to information subject to such qualifications and laws as are necessary for a democratic society.”
It, also, seeks to operationalize the constitutional right to information by the public, and some private institutions, subject to exemptions that are necessary and consistent to safeguarding the public interest in a democratic state.
By: Paul Mamattah