Members of Ghana Parliament meeting with Dr. Tudor Vlad at the University of Georgia.

Members of Ghana Parliament Visit UGA

Dr. Tudor Vlad, associate director of the James M. Cox Jr. Center for International Mass Communication Training and Research at the University of Georgia, told members of the Ghana Parliament that communication problems between journalists and government leaders can occur because of lack of professionalism or because of mistrust.

Dr. Vlad was speaking with the visiting delegation on the role of media in government transparency and accountability as part of a program organized in the last week of February by the Carl Vinson Institute of Government at the University of Georgia.

"Sometimes journalists are overworked and do not report appropriately," Dr. Vlad said, "but in other cases government communicators do not know how to make the information accessible to the media in a professional and timely manner."

The Ghana Legislative Training Program included discussions of topics such as the essentials of democratic oversight, an overview of the Georgia General Assembly, government transparency and campaign finance, and accountability, laws and internal control.

The visitors were: Emmanuel Bedzrah, member of the Ghana Parliament and chairman of the Government Assurance Committee, John Oti Bless and Joe Baidoe-Ansah, members of the Parliament, and Emmanuel Akrofi-Tibo, assistant clerk.

They were accompanied by Dr. William Amposah of Georgia Southern University.

"I congratulate you for the media system in your country," Dr. Vlad told the guests. "Both the Freedom House and the Reporters without Borders press freedom list your country among those with free media, while the IREX Media Sustainability Index concludes that media in Ghana are vibrant, diverse and way ahead of the press of other countries in the region."

"Yes, media have made huge progress in Ghana since the legislation has been changed in 1993," Bedzrah from the delegation responded, "but we still are struggling with journalists who mix fact and opinion or who report based on partisan views."

Dr. Vlad talked about the relationship between government and media in emerging and consolidated democracies. He argued that communication problems sometimes occur because of lack of professionalism or because of mistrust.

Dr. Vlad gave his presentation on the first day of the program, which was held at the Carl Vinson Institute of Government on the University of Georgia campus.

The Cox Center is a unit of the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication and partners with the Carl Vinson on a variety of programs involving governance and the media.