The 15 Million Grant To Media Houses

Ebrima Sillah, the Minister of Information and Communication Infrastructure

The Ministry of information is engaged in consultation with GPU and the Newspaper Publishers Association on how to make the disbursement of the grant to the various media houses transparent and accountable so that the vote controller would not be found wanting by the auditors. The grant is meant to enable media houses to ease their challenges as they confront difficulties of increasing cost of operations.

Opinions are divided as to how the funds should be disbursed.

These differences could likely to create a rift between the GPU and the Newspaper Publishers Association which Foroyaa will not entertain.

COVID 19 has confronted the Media with the unique situation. The Print media especially need facemasks and  sanitisers for both staff and equipment,  long arm digital recorders to maintain safe  distancing in conducting interviews , Press jackets for easy identification and facilitating their work, especially  during curfew hours; Laptops and data cards to facilitate sending reports away from office for safety purposes as well as to enhance efficiency and avoid congestion at the office; Flash drives to keep archives of recordings and relevant documents for future references; mobile airtime to help reporters make regular calls and conduct virtual interviews; Smart phones to ease communications.

Each media house is paying sales and corporate tax as well as social security for staff. The fifteen Million Dalasis allocated to the Media through the Supplementary Appropriation Act could be utilised to pay the tax and other obligations that the media houses shoulder  towards the state and thus allow them to use the savings to meet their own obligations. That would be a way of easing their burden during the PANDEMIC. Foroyaa would support such accountable and transparent way of easing the burden of the Media. FOROYAA is opposed to any bulk donation of money to the Media by the state without any linkage to the day to day operations of the Media.