Role of media in influencing economic narrative is even more crucial now – BoG Boss

Governor Ernest Addison
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Governor of the Bank of Ghana, Dr Ernest Addison has said the media’s role in influencing the economic narrative is even more crucial during periods of heightened uncertainty.

Under such circumstances, he said, the media has additional responsibilities to decide the timing of release and newsworthiness of the information at hand for accurate reportage.

A statement read on his behalf at a media sensitization workshop, said “Let me now turn to the issue of the link between accurate reportage and financial /economic stability. Ladies and Gentlemen, since the media obtains information from various sources, it is essential to distinguish between accurate reportage that comes from publicly available data and accurate reportage from non-publicly available information. First, it is generally acknowledged that the behaviour of economic agents is influenced by both the economic and financial environment, which is largely shaped by the narratives of the media.

“The media’s role in influencing the economic narrative is even more crucial during periods of heightened uncertainty. Under such circumstances, the media has additional responsibilities to decide the timing of release and newsworthiness of the information at hand for accurate reportage. As financial and business journalists, it is possible to come in contact with different information sets, some of which may be confidential and which, if published, could destabilize the financial system.

“Financial and business journalists therefore have an obligation to gingerly assess the implications for economic and financial stability of information they intend to publish. Workshops like this can help equip journalists like yourselves with the relevant knowledge of the financial sector and the nature of risks and incentives facing the sector.”

He added “The role of the press here is also critical and that is what I want to stress on. We see the role of journalists as key facilitators on the transmission mechanism of policy actions. Accurate reportage helps transmit policies quicker and monetary policy becomes efficient. Time and again we in Africa have complained about weak transmission of monetary policy. But we must know that there is a relationship between freedom of the press and transmission of monetary policy action and an educated population.

“A free press operating in an environment where data is easily assessable if more efficient and supports transmission of policy actions to the economy in an efficient manner. I see the press as that strong salesman selling the policy to provide confidence to drive economic activity and growth. This is who you are as a group and you must live by these ideals. And so, your role is crucial for monetary policy and we at the Central Bank view this program as very important.

“Ladies and Gentlemen, let me articulate that this training workshop, which seeks to equip financial and business journalists to play key roles in the dissemination of economic and financial information to the public, should be taken seriously. Now, permit me to conclude by reiterating that the Bank’s sponsorship of this training workshop clearly spells out its commitment to improving the quality of financial and business journalism in Ghana.

“This hinges on our believe that the Bank in conjunction with the media can build a critical mass of financial and business journalists capable of accurate reporting on Ghana’s emerging vibrant financial markets and in turn help sustain the economic recovery in this period of heightened uncertainties.”

By Laud Nartey|3news.com|Ghana

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