Stakeholders within the communication sector have joined forces to develop a comprehensive National Action Plan aimed at combating the rising tide of disinformation in the country.
The plan, currently in development, is slated to be finalised by December of this year.
This comes from a recent National Conference on Disinformation and Misinformation, where a 7-point communique was collectively agreed upon by political parties, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), media representatives, and development partners.
Speaking at the 27th Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) Media Awards, Minister for Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah said the growing spate of misinformation and deliberate disinformation in our media space if left unchecked, could erode the trust in the journalism profession and hinder meaningful democratic discourse hence, the urgent need for a National Action Plan.
“Disinformation, if not checked, at the minimum, trust in our cherished profession will soon be eroded. At the most, we will not even have a democracy anymore where people can exchange ideas and make decisions based on truth and fact. We run the risk of shifting to a space where our public discourse is started by misinformation and disinformation, twisted narratives, and sometimes total fabrications.
“If we get into that space, we cannot have any meaningful forward-looking conversation that builds our society. Because any conversation that starts with disinformation evokes misdirected passions and denies us the ability to discuss and build consensus on solutions cogently,” the Minister said.
The National Action Plan, according to Minister Oppong Nkrumah, will incorporate a variety of strategies including maintaining ethical standards in media, encouraging fact-checking in public conversations, supporting high-quality journalism, and promoting civic education.
The Minister appealed to all stakeholders to actively join forces and dedicate themselves to addressing this escalating threat. He said while the government has initiated various measures to tackle the issue, eradicating this menace entirely would require an all-hands-on-deck approach.