He said the media, which played a pivotal role in national development as the fourth estate of the realm, is a reliable source of information and education to the public with a responsibility of projecting the nation in a positive manner.
“It will take our media to appreciate our own cultural values to project it in a manner that would be attractive to the citizenry,” he added.
Dr Iddi gave the advice at a “Media Sensitisation and Training Workshop” organised by the Ghana Culture Forum on the theme: “Projecting our National Culture: The Challenges and Opportunities for the Media Practitioner” on Thursday in Accra.
Professor Kwame Karikari, Dean of School of Communication Studies, Wisconsin International University College, said Ghanaians were gradually moving away from who they truly were, and subsequently losing their identity.
“How a country portrays its culture defines the perception other countries have about it”, he said and admonished media practitioners to package Ghana admirably across the globe.
He explained that by publishing and broadcasting cultural messages, the media would help to promote common standards of appreciation of culture to take away its prejudices.
Prof Karikari identified media illiteracy in the local languages as a hindrance in promoting culture, as most media contents were produced in English language.
“Newspaper as a way of enhancing languages has not been effective at all,” he said.
The workshop, he explained, was therefore important to encourage the media to portray and represent the nation with its true identity.
Prof. Karikari said the Ghanaian educational system destroyed local languages, especially as it paid little focus on culture and resorted to teaching with foreign languages.
He called on journalism training institutions to develop the skills of students in writing and promoting culture and arts, saying the current effort in that regard was inadequate.
He mentioned travel, foods, arts, music, festivals, performing arts, cinema, books and literature, beauty culture, marriage, and religion as disciplines of culture that could be promoted by the media.
Nana Kobina Nketsia, Omanhene of Essikado Traditional Area, described culture as ‘psychology’, which enabled leaders to steer the affairs of society based on their thoughts and beliefs.
By this, he said, the media had a responsibility to shape the thoughts of the public about the beauty of culture and the need to employ it in their daily lives.
“Culture is you and the structure of your thoughts. You have to be an African first before you can use your media as a tool to promote it,” he said.
The Ghana Culture Forum is a membership-based civil society consultative forum, made up of cultural practitioners, activists, and organisations united around a common vision of affirming the cultural foundations of development and enhancing the cultural sector.
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