The Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA), has commended radio workers in Ghana for their massive contributions to the country’s development, by timely and consistently educating and creating awareness for active citizens’ mobilization.
“Development is people-dependent, and people work for development if they are educated, informed and mobilized around a shared objective,” the Foundation made the observation in a message to commemorate World Radio Day, which is observed on February 13 every year.
World Radio Day is celebrated across the globe to remember the unique power of radio.
This year’s theme: was ‘Youth and Radio, ‘ and how young people can be better represented through the most powerful medium.
MFWA noted that radio was the most effective information disclosure platform within Ghana’s local governance system, adding, “indeed, radio reflects the shifting of development paradigm towards a more participatory style of information, knowledge transfer and participatory communication which are necessary for both economic and social development.”
While urging all duty bearers, especially those within the country’s local governance system, to maximize the potential of radio in community mobilization for development, the Foundation also admonished radio station owners to ensure the existence of policies and mechanisms that guaranteed the safety of their staff in the line of duty.
“The MFWA is also mindful of the destructive potential of radio, in spite of being an effective tool for mass mobilization, and calls for decency in language use and professionalism in reportage and programming, to ensure sanity on the airwaves.”
A study by the Foundation indicates that radio is the most effective engagement platform within the local governance system in Ghana.
The study notes that radio provides the platform for more consistent, frequent, transparent and accurate sharing of information, as well as means of tracking and getting timely feedback.
This is despite the existence of other local substructures, such as town hall meetings, visits of assembly authorities, and debriefing by assembly leaders, the use of information delivery van, non-governmental organisations and civil society organisations, the report said.
The study which assessed the “Current Level of Citizens-Local Authorities’ Engagement on Revenue Inflow and Expenditure in Selected districts in Northern Ghana,” however found that even though local assemblies view the media as helpful, there is little or no blueprint media engagement plan within the Assemblies.
“This report provides further evidence to the importance of radio in community mobilization and in timely and consistent information dissemination and advocacy,” Abigail Larbi, MFWA’s Programme Officer for Media Development and Democracy said. GNA