A disclaimer is appropriate at this time. We wish to state unequivocally that we at The Herald have not received any laptop from neither the Ministry of Information nor the PRINPAG, the umbrella body of the Private Newspapers Association of Ghana, whether officially or unofficially.
The decision by Government to set up a media fund was a novelty and many practitioners and well-meaning Ghanaians, who have held the view that the Fourth Estate of the realm, have not had its fair share of government support, despite the importance of the media towards the advancement of democracy
in the country.
Notable media personnel were in the forefront of the fight to the restoration of democracy, and so it came as a welcome news when the announcement was made in the 2012 and the 2013 budget about the fund.
The decision to distribute laptops was not the best way to reward media houses, the problems and demands defer from one media house to another. What should or could be done is to follow the example of the Ministry of Education, regarding the research fund it intends to set up, so that Lecturers could access, after presenting a proposal, instead of the allowances they used to receive.
Every good intention of the Government has always hit a snag or have come back to hurt the government, because the problem have always been with the implementation.
What was the criteria arrived at, regarding the distribution of the laptops. It is clear that most media houses have not received the laptops; at best some journalists did get but not their media houses.
A simple gesture by the government has been bastardised to the extent that the government is being seen in a bad light. Why must the government do this to itself?
It is our hope that the Ministry of Information will learn from this experience, so that come next year, there will be transparency in the disbursement of the fund.
We are still waiting for our laptop, whoever has it please.