As part of the government’s plan of keeping Ghanaians abreast of its policies and programmes, the Minister for Information, Mr. Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, has handed a refurbished state-of-the-art newsroom to the Information Services Department.
The newsroom is linked to an App ‘Bonsu Platform’ set up at the Public Coordinating Division of the ISD to produce real-time reports of the activities of the government from Public Relations Officers at Ministries, Departments, and Agencies.
Journalists in the newsroom will produce and post government development projects on the department’s news portal, www.ghanatoday.gov.gh, GhanaToday Magazine and distribute the same to other media houses.
At a ceremony to hand over the newsroom to ISD, the Minister for Information, Mr. Oppong Nkrumah, said even though the government had done enough to turn the economy around and improve the lives of Ghanaians, there was the misconception that the government had not lived up to expectation.
He said the central phenomenon fuelling this misconception among a section of Ghanaians was the lack of information on the government activities in the media space.
Mr. Oppong Nkrumah said it was against that backdrop that the government was transforming the ISD to perform its mandate of disseminating government programmes.
He said the implementation of the government’s transformational agenda for the ISD started last year with re-structuring of the organogram of the department and re-alignment of staff to fill the positions they could perform effectively and efficiently.
He added that the Research Division was refurbished last year. Early this year, the Public Coordinating Division was also refurbished to produce real-time reports of the activities of the government.
He said the newsroom has now been retooled and refurbished with modern electronic equipment that befits any news production organisation in the country, adding that the newsroom staff were expected to produce accurate and relevant information that would impact the lives of Ghanaians.
Mr. Oppong Nkrumah also disclosed that the department had signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Ghana Institute of Journalism to train the Public Relations Officers of ISD to aid their certification by the Institute of Public Relations, Ghana.
He said the Ministry and ISD were in consultation with the Office of the Head of Civil Service to make the Public Relations class in the Service.
He added that another MoU had been signed with the Ghana Statistical Services to train District Information Officers to gather and analyse public reaction reports on government projects scientifically.
On his part, a renowned journalist and communications specialist, Kwaku Sakyi-Addo, who was part of the technical team that redesigned the newsroom, encouraged officers of the newsroom to make a mark on the media space.
“We all need a trusted source of information, and this is an opportunity for ISD to be the most trusted source for government information,” he added.