There are two houses in Parliament!
The Chairperson of the National Council, Hon Margaret Mensah-Williams castigated both the media and her own colleagues for what often seems like a breakdown in relationship.
Delivering a speech at a workshop for parliamentarians with regard to the relationship between Media and Parliament, she announced that the media frequently confuses the Parliament as the National Assembly.
Speaking at the workshop hosted at the Safari Conference Centre, the chairperson said “The main problem I have right now with the media when it comes to reporting on the work of parliament is that when they think of Parliament, they perceive the National Assembly as parliament.”
Hon Mensah-Williams further stated that most media institutions would report that Parliament did not declare their assets or that Parliament did not form a quorum and what they actually refer to is the National Assembly and not Parliament. Mensah-Williams urged the media to be specific when they report on Parliament or write about Parliament, reminding all present that it refers to both houses of the Parliament which is the National Council and National Assembly.
Additionally, the chairperson told her colleagues, the Members of Parliament themselves, to have an open door policy towards the media and refrain from the outdated response of “No Comment.” “When you tell the media “No Comment,” the media thinks MPs are being secretive about whatever questions they require answers to.”
With regard to gender equality and the media, the chairperson elaborated that Members of Parliament are reviewing and passing laws against gender discrimination and are currently ratifying and signing the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). “However, reportedly this isn’t reflective in the media industry as females are not placed or promoted as editors or to high positions in media houses. Women are portrayed negatively in the media due to the fact that they do not have high positions in it” the chairperson voiced her observations.
MP’s were further told that the media has assumed a more pivotal position when it comes to reporting the activities of Parliament, not only professionally but also with scrutinizing the personal life’s of MPs, therefore they need to maximize and effectively communicate their various political agenda’s and the inner workings of Parliament, especially on promoting the work of the National Council to the general public.