Ghanaian print media must reposition against digital migration threats – Dr Boamah
Dr Omane Boamah, Minister of Communication has urged print media operators and practitioners to adopt new ways to conform to the challenges of digital migration since government has no choice than to migrate.
Ghana signed the Geneva 2006 Agreement, establishing the Digital Terrestrial Broadcasting Plan at the Regional Radio communications Conference that set June 17, 2015 as the deadline to end international protection for analogue broadcasting transmissions.
Addressing participants at a seminar organised by the Private Newspaper Publishers Association of Ghana on digital migration, Dr Boamah said there was the need for the print media to reposition itself to confront the threats that the digital migration would pose.
He said migrating from analogue to digital television broadcasting would have an impact on the country by enhancing speedy publication of news ahead of the print media due to different mode of production.
Telecommunications might improve a number of services to voice subscribers who may find it more convenient in accessing information quicker and at lesser cost, he added.
Dr Boamah said with the digital revolution, the print media were likely to lag behind if steps were not taken to ensure practitioners become digitally savvy to serve with diversity.
He also disclosed that government was vigorously embarking on a 710km fibre infrastructural project that passes through Ho, Tamale and Bawku, and if completed, would make communication cheaper and boost keen competition.
He reiterated government commitment to providing 400,000 laptops in the next four years to bridge the digital gap deficit in the country.
Major (rd) Emmanuel Owusu Adansi, Director of Special Projects at the National Communication Authority who spoke on the theme, “the digital migration revolution – an overview” said the digital ecosystem involves government, citizens, media and broadcasters.
He urged the media to raise public awareness on the digital revolution to enhance understanding and encourage action.
Mr Kweku Sekyi-Addo, Chief Executive of Ghana Chamber of Telecommunications took participants through “the socio-economic importance of telecoms in Ghana”.
Mr Sekyi-Addo said telecoms in Ghana creates over one billion jobs and contribute about one third growth of the Gross Domestic Product as at 2010.
He disclosed that the cost of mobile communications in Ghana is among the lowest in the world and comes (Ghana) fourth in Africa after South Africa, Sudan and Kenya.
The world of broadcasting is going through a profound change, due to the development of digital technology.
If Ghana is migrated from analogue to digital terrestrial television in the next two years, then it means Ghanaians need to purchase new set top boxes to receive the new digital signal, scheduled for full transmission by the end of 2015.
The seminar attended by print media practitioners was on the theme: “The digital migration revolution; its economic prospects for the print media in Ghana.”
The seminar provided an interactive platform for newspaper publishers, editors, as well as electronic and advertising media owners.
Participants were from the Ministry of Information and Media Relations, Ministry of Communications and allied agencies in the telecommunication industry.