Speaker of Parliament Right Honorable Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin has said that given his deep appreciation of the important role of the media in sustaining and entrenching Ghana’s democracy and the help he has enjoyed from the media, he has been paying for the education of journalists at the Ghana Institute of Journalism (GIJ) but does not “take personal ownership” of them.
The speaker, who called for improved conditions of service for media practitioners through the codification of a minimum conditions of service document for them and ensuring that they operate in a safe environment, stressed the importance of the media is ensuring that the other arms of government function satisfactorily.
He revealed that he has had a good working relationship with the media since 1995, and has been supporting their cause ever since.
“I have been a true friend of the media and I have always appreciated and commended the media highly. If it wasn’t for the media, I’m not sure I will be a Speaker of Parliament. If not for the media, I wouldn’t have succeeded in winning seven successive elections and staying in Parliament up till this time.
I recognised it very early and since 1995, I have worked with the media throughout. I sponsored and continue to sponsor media practitioners at the Ghana Institute of Journalism, but I don’t personally take ownership of any of them,” he said in a speech at a press soirée in Takoradi marking 30 years of Ghana’s Fourth Republic.
The media is generally considered the Fourth Estate of the Realm – the fourth Arm of Government – that ensures that the powers of the Executive, the Judiciary and the Legislature are not abused or used against the people they should serve. Ghana has been a leading light in media excellence notwithstanding a recent poor showing in international rankings. Ghana’s media remains vibrant and largely independent.