According to Mark Twain “There are only two forces that can carry light to all the corners of the globe…the sun in the heavens and the Associated Press down here. This means that, the role of the media cannot be overlooked if citizens want to actually know what goes on in the government chambers each day and especially, in the management of the resources in a country.
The media plays a very important role in explaining complex issues to the public and monitoring the government’s handling of matters of interest in the extractive sector. The oil and gas industry has a shady reputation and many Civil Society groups have raised concerns over lack of clarity of contracts that were awarded to oil exploration companies in the country. Rightly or wrongly, many citizens and state institutions such as the Public Interest and Accountability Committee (PIAC) assume that international oil companies pay bribes to government officials and prioritize profit over the protection of the environment and respect for the host communities. In an interview with Professor P.K. Buah-Bassuah, the chairman of the Public Interest and Accountability Committee (PIAC), he said “the media has really saved the country of many revenue. They have played the role deserved because if not, the oil companies would have milked the country dry” he added.
In conclusion, the media’s role over the extractive sector cannot undermined if citizens truly wants to know how much revenue goes to Government accounts. The role of the media is very significant in bringing to light the good deals and bad contracts entered into by government for the citizens.
By: David Aduhene Tanoh -www.reportingoilandgas.com