Community leaders in the Atwima-Mponua District have appealed to the media to give prominence to issues affecting the quality of life of people in the rural communities.
JournalistsThey said the situation where development challenges of the rural population hardly found space in the newspapers or got air time was unhealthy and must change.
Mr Kwame Ampofo-Twumasi, an opinion leader at Tanodumase, said they would want to see journalists play a more effective advocacy role to influence policy direction towards the improvement of the state of affairs in the deprived areas.
He was contributing to discussions at a stakeholders? meeting on GNA/STAR-Ghana media auditing and tracking of development projects, an initiative launched to put a spotlight on how government?s resources were helping to transform the lives of the people held at Nyinahin.
The goal is to aid transparency, promote accountability and good local governance.
Atwima-Mponua is one of the six districts in Ashanti and the Eastern regions where the project is being piloted and the meeting provided the platform to critically evaluate the impact and discuss the way forward.
It brought together assembly and unit committee members, department heads and other opinion leaders from various communities.
Mr Ampofo-Twumasi said although the media had done well to strengthen the country?s democracy ? focusing on political education and political issues, the same could not be said about its rural development performance.
?We feel marginalized, neglected and discriminated against. We are faced with a myriad of problems ? bad roads, lack of access to quality healthcare, schools? infrastructure and other social amenities but sadly, these appear to have little or no news value to the journalist,? he said.
He said there could not be even development when the socio-economic need of a significant section of the population was pushed to the periphery.
Mr Ampofo scored high marks for the GNA for the project and said since its introduction in the area it had helped to draw attention to projects left abandoned in the communities as well as the daily challenges of the people.
The district, which was created 10 years ago, is the second largest in the Ashanti Region in terms of lad size but it is one of the least developed.



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