The Minister for Parliamentary Affairs, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu has urged journalists covering parliament to align themselves to one or two committees in order to become an authority.
“It is important to assign yourself to one or two committees to become an authority” he said this at a media dialogue under the auspices of the Ministry of parliamentary affairs in Accra.
Mr. Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu who is also the Majority Leader in parliament explained that often journalists covering parliament have a knack for all news or happenings at parliament, however, in as much as it is good, focusing on a particular area enables a reporter to be well versed.
Parliament is the epitome of the sovereign will of the people of Ghana, exercises oversight of the Executive by ensuring Financial Scrutiny and control of the Public Purse and also scrutinizes public policy measures.
It has Legislative, Representative, Deliberative and Informational Responsibilities. Parliament has its own separate and independent Secretariat created by Law and known as Parliamentary Service. The Service is the entity around which Parliament revolves. It facilitates the tedious and arduous work of Parliament.
The Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs serves as a bridge builder between Parliament, the Executive and the Citizenry. As part of the Executive, the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs, without any overt external pressure acts as a self-censor for the government, being sensitive to the sensibilities and preferences of our people, actual or perceived.
“My Ministry is poised to work and contribute to enhancing the Dignity and image of Parliament and MPs, Promote Consensus building, endeavour to control excessive partisanship and encourage constructive criticism” he said.
The Minority Leader, Haruna Idrissu commended the parliamentary press corp for its coverage of parliament and added that in 2019 the leadership of parliament will see to the full implementation of the press corps joining leadership in their travels.
He also called on the leadership of parliament to ensure that it improves on IT infrastructure in parliament and charged the media to monitor and report on petroleum revenue and petroleum expenditure in order to point out concrete outcomes on its disbursement.
Prof.Audrey Gadzekpo of the School of Communications Studies of the University of Ghana challenged parliament to make public committee deliberations particularly to the media and also appealed to the legislature to constantly offer capacity training to parliamentary press corps.
According to her, the media can play a positive role to ensure democracy, as well as requisite skill mechanism to ensure they are held accountable to the public.
The media dialogue was held on the theme “Interrogating Parliament’s Contribution to the Consolidation of Ghana’s Democracy thus far: The Perspectives of Media” aimed at supporting it bring participatory democracy to the doorsteps of the citizenry to ensure good governance.
Also to ensure that the Ministry empowers the media to ask the critical questions of our Parliamentarians in order to promote the National Interest.
Participants were drawn from selected editors, morning show hosts and reporters from both Print and Electronic Media Houses, some selected members of the Ministry’s Advisory Board, some selected members of Parliament and Management and staff of the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs.