Accra Brewery Limited (ABL), in line with its annual support for press freedom and high journalistic standards in the country, has commemorated World Press Freedom Day in Accra with the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA).
ABL in keeping with its tradition of providing financial support to the media fraternity, donated GHC10, 000 to the GJA
A statement from ABL said the gesture is an annual one that began nine years ago. The cash donation is not an isolated case as the company has consistently and for nine consecutive years, supported the World Press Freedom Day in a similar fashion.
Additionally, ABL provides annual assistance towards the GJA Awards and sponsors the award for the Best Reporter in the Arts & Entertainment category.
Speaking at the flag raising ceremony, Mr Cyrus deGraft-Johnson, the Corporate Affairs Manager of ABL, commended the media for its invaluable contribution to the socio-cultural and economic development in the country.
“We in the business sector have a symbiotic relationship with the media. We need credible and accurate information to enable us take certain decisions and the media also needs interesting facts and figures from us to inform the public,” Mr deGraft-Johnson said.
Whiles stressing the need for the Ghana Journalist Association to encourage its members to uphold the tenets of ethical and professional journalism, he reaffirmed the company’s commitment to working within the regulatory and legal framework as well as playing a leading advocacy role for authentic business information.
He said we at ABL therefore join business, civil society organisations and all well-meaning Ghanaians in a collective effort to get the Freedom of Information Law and the Broadcasting Law passed.
We are hopeful that with the assurances from the Information Minister Mustapha Hamid and the Leadership of Parliament it will be passed.’
Shedding light on the importance of the RTI to cementing Ghana’s quest for a true culture of free access to credible information, Mr deGraft-Johnson said ‘‘when ratified, the Right to Information Law will provide the legal and ethical framework, setting the ground rules to guide the numerous traditional media outlets on how to conduct the business of information gathering and dissemination.’’
He, however, reminded stakeholders of the need to widen the scope of the legal regime to include social media, which, albeit unregulated, is fast becoming the new norm and the platforms of choice for mass communication.
Are we factoring these into the form, structure and spirit of the Broadcasting Law and the Freedom of Information Bill? What are the considerations being made? he asked.
Mr deGraft-Johnson said “Joining ABInBev, the world’s largest brewery, in October 2016, has renewed ABL’s energy and commitment to bringing people together for a better world, a world where everyone has the opportunity to improve their livelihood.
“‘We strive to achieve this everyday by combining and aligning our scale, resources and energy to the needs of our communities, providing the drive and tools that propel people to achieve their dreams and make it happen”, he said.
Marked on May 3 annually, the World Press Freedom Day presents stakeholders in the media an opportunity to reflect and evaluate the fundamental principles of press freedom around the world; defend the media from attacks on their independence whilst paying tribute to journalists who lost their lives in the line of duty.
The theme for this year’s celebration was: ‘Critical Minds for Critical Times.’