Mr Cyril Kwabena Nsiah, the Clerk to Parliament, has lauded the media for its role in deepening Ghana’s parliamentary democracy by serving as the link between the legislature and the public.
He said the media played a critical role in the dissemination of information from Parliament, which kept the people informed of what was happening in the Legislature.
“In fact, it is the media, which conveys to the people the nature of the business transacted in Parliament, the substance of parliamentary legislation and discussion, thereby enhancing public perception of Parliament.”
Mr Nsiah said this when he delivered the keynote address at a two-day workshop for members of the Parliamentary Press Corps (PPC) at Prampram in the Greater Accra Region.
The workshop, on the theme: “A knowledgeable Parliamentary Reporter as a Promoter of Multi-party Parliamentary Democracy,” is aimed at building the capacity of members of the Press Corps with the requisite knowledge and skills for the effective discharge of their duties.
He urged the media to be circumspect in the discharge of their duties and not trample on the rights of other citizens or jeopardise the public interest.
He explained that the term “freedom of the press’, carries with it responsibilities and could not be absolute in a democracy or for that matter any organised human society.
“Now more than ever, the tenets of our democratic credentials are being tested, and how we navigate this period and its associated complexities will determine how far we travel on the path of democracy and development, as a nation,” he said.
As the Fourth Estate of the Realm, the media was required to provide the citizenry with objective, timely and relevant information to assist them to make informed and responsible choices as stakeholders in the democratic process.
He said the media could only play that role if it was armed with the requisite skill sets, techniques and knowledge required for the performance of those duties.
Madam Kate Addo, the Director of Public Affairs, Parliament, said the conference formed part of efforts at streamlining communications in Parliament, which have had challenges over the years, some of which tended to put the name of Parliament into disrepute.
Mr Simon Agianab, Dean of the Parliamentary Press Corps, urged members of the Press Corps to live up to their responsibilities in line with professional and ethical journalistic standards.
He said their relationship with Parliament should be nothing short of a professional one.