The Minister of Information, Kojo Oppong-Nkrumah, has admonished the New Times Corporation (NTC) to chart a path in the digital and online space so it will remain competitive in the fast-evolving media landscape.
“You have to get aggressive in the online and digital space. Though your content may still be the best, if you don’t take advantage of today’s technology and get ahead of the curve in the online and digital space, you will be overtaken by those with the leadership in that space,” he said.
Interacting with the Board of Directors, Management and Staff of the Corporation in Accra yesterday on a working visit, he said; “The competition is deeper by the day. That is why if any media house sticks to its old module and does not seek to get ahead of the curve, it could become obsolete in the shortest of times.”
The Minister was accompanied by Deputy Minister-designate of Information, Fatimatu Abubakar; Chairman of the National Media Commission, Yaw Boadu-Ayeboafo, and the Chairperson of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Communication and Member of Parliament for Agona West, Cynthia Morrison.
Mr Oppong-Nkrumah expressed the government’s readiness to support efforts being made by the Corporation to turn around its fortunes and, in view of that, gave the Board and management six weeks to present its plan for financial assistance, to the ministry for further action.
“It is not going to be the old game plan that says I need money, take money and then you go, but it is going be like a transaction which we agree on how much you need, we agree on how to ensure you have that money and we agree on targets and timelines that you will deliver on,” he said.
On the issue of recovery of outstanding debts owed the NTC by Ministries, Departments and Agencies, Mr Oppong-Nkrumah tasked the Board to submit the list to the ministry for further action to be taken.
He commended the management for progress in moving the Corporation from a precarious situation into a profitable organisation according to the NTC’s 2020 management accounts.
Mr Boadu-Ayeboafo, assured the Corporation of its support in its transformational agenda, but urged the Board, Management and Staff to work together through dialogue and transparency, for their collective good.
He advised the Management to develop a standard policy for its journalists, to guide their work and rallied workers to uphold positive work practices at all times to spur the growth of the Corporation.
A member of the Board, Alex Boateng, who represented the Board Chairperson, said the Corporation was exploring the possibility of transforming into a limited liability company to attract investment and shore-up returns.
Apart from the development of a Human Resource Policy to guide workplace management and a three-year strategic plan to make the Corporation viable, he said a restructuring move was underway to fill vacancies to ensure efficiency while measures had been put in place to block revenue leakages.
He appealed to the Minister to permit the Corporation to use its assets to secure credit to, among other things, replace its 14-year-old obsolete offset printing machine to help not only to improve the quality of the print but venture into commercial printing and increasing revenue.
The Managing Director of the NTC, Martin Adu-Owusu, said the Corporation had initiated moves to expand its online presence and had, as part of the plan, made arrangements for the development of a mobile application for news publication and digital advertisement.
The Chairperson of the Professional and Managerial Staff Union (PMSU) of the NTC, Diana Bosuh, assured the delegation that workers would play their part to make the transformational agenda work.