Globalization of Western media has been and still continues to be a major impact in shaping Cultures internationally. Media coverage of culture and arts in Ghana will not only shape the public discourse about how the creative industry is perceived but will also create an enabling environment for the space by strengthening trade in cultural goods and services.
This will in turn provide an impetus for local and national markets, which will then provide employment opportunities for decent work and promote local production. Telling the right stories about the industry for the needed impact is crucial.
It is in line with this that, a seven-member executive board has been inaugurated for the Arts and Tourism Writers Association of Ghana-ATWAG.
At a ceremony in Accra, the members were tasked to give the tourism industry a facelift.
The Arts and Tourism Writers Association of Ghana (ATWAG) is one of the most vibrant associations of Ghanaian arts writers, journalists and media workers with the mandate of developing the professional capacity and the welfare of its members, promoting co-operation and collaboration among its members and players in the arts, tourism and culture value chain.
Inaugurating the board, Lawyer Prince Osisiadan, said the tourism industry in the country has not functioned as expected over the years and called on the new board and it members to do more to project the industry to attract investors. He also urged members to be wary of defamatory stories that may land them in trouble.
The outgoing President, Mr. William Asiedu, a venerated Journalist, in his address, recounted the hard work and dedication that went into building the association and admonished members to uphold the tenets of the profession and work towards making their work as arts and tourism writers more impactful.
The newly inducted President of the Association and Chief Executive of ImageBureau ,Mr. George Quaye gave the assurance that members will work diligently to achieve their aim.
“In my tenure as President of the Arts & Tourism Writers Association of Ghana, we will make it an onus to ignite conversations with the Government of Ghana through its various arms and agencies under the Ministries of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Communications, Information and to some extent education that will lead to the designing and commitment to innovative incentives, recompenses and even some level of tax rebates for media houses who endeavor to invest in, produce and air or exhibit localized programs and products that promote our artistic, cultural and tourism assets.”
He however, admonished media owners in Ghana to promote local content and desist from endorsing other peoples culture with our language, citing telenovela as an example This he says, is the greatest tragedy to our Ghanaian culture and values.
“There is not a single mainstream show on TV, Radio or social media that deliberately promotes our works of arts such as painting or sculptures, although these two industries are quite vibrant in Ghana. Instead, many Ghanaian TV stations tap into BBC and DW feeds that have well-researched and well-funded programmes that promote European works of art. I would not even want to speak to what we have done and are doing to our culture through the telenovelas. We need to support creative artists and encourage more content that project, protect, nurture and develop our culture.” Mr. Quaye said.
Two of ATWAG’s top positions went to GBCNews’ Rebekah Awuah, a serial awards winner as Secretary and Hagar Owusu, occupying the Treasurer position.
Rebekah Awuah, a celebrated tourism Advocate, Arts writer and Professional, takes over from arts and entertainment journalist, Reagan Odei Ofosu Osarfo while Hagar mans the office of Frank Owusu of Hitz FM.
The Vice-President position was won by freelance radio and television host Livingstone Lotsu, who took over from Francis Doku, General Manager of MG TV (TV3 and Onua TV) and arts writer with Graphic Showbiz. Fashion designer, Vera Adu-Amaning also took over from Mustapha Nii Okai Inusah, with the Research Officer position for the next four years occupied by Stanley Awuku Wilson, a blogger.
Citi FM’s Kwame Dadzie handed over the baton to entertainment journalist, Gloria Akpene-Acquah aka MzGee as the Public Relations Officer.
For now, the Arts and Tourism Writers Association of Ghana- ÀTWAG, is keen on promoting the arts, tourism and culture reporting in Ghana in partnership with key industry players while developing the professional capacity and the welfare of its members.
The induction and handing over ceremony, which coincided with the association’s New Year party, saw members of the association and other arts stakeholders in attendance.