The chairman of the National Media Commission (NMC), Mr. Kwesi Gyan Appenteng has stated that, the recently passed Content Standard regulations, (LI 2224) is not aimed at punishing broadcasters nor gagging the freedom of the media.
According to him, the regulation is to introduce a minimum operation standard in the vibrant media industry and clarify the responsibilities of media practitioners on public airwaves.
Parliament last month, passed the new Legislative Instrument (LI 2224), part of which states “an operator shall not convey or permit to be carried, content on a public electronic communications service or a broadcasting service without obtaining a content authorization from the Commission [National Media Commission]”.
Failure to obtain permission attracts “a fine not less than five thousand units or a term of imprisonment of not less than two years and not more than five years or to both the fine and term of imprisonment.”
Some operators in the broadcasting industry, however, believe the law is a subtle way of reintroducing the repealed ‘criminal libel’ law.
But speaking at the inauguration of the Volta regional Media Advisory Committee in Ho, the NMC chairman, Mr. Appenteng said the regulation is required in the public interest to make the electronic media alive to its responsibilities.
He therefore assured broadcasters that “this is not to undermine their ability to do their work but to enable them to do it, knowing clearly what the law permit and does not permit.”
“This regulation should not cause any worry to any broadcaster or the public, all across the world, broadcasting is regulated, because broadcasting has immense reach that we can’t allow the airwaves to be used in an unregulated manner.
“The NMC by the powers confirmed on it by the constitution has just set out ways by which our broadcasters can conform to international standards. So that, broadcasting will convene descent messages and images, will truly reflect culture and culture aspirations,” Mr. Appenteng added.
The five member Regional Media Advisory Committees (RMAC) is to support the NMC in monitoring and engaging players in the media industry in the Volta region.
Most Reverend Emmanuel Kofi Fianu, Bishop of Ho Diocese of the Catholic Church Chairs the committee, with other members including, Dr George Mawusi Afeti, Former Rector of Ho Polytechnic, Mr Simon Kobla Dewotor and Mr Nenorla Kwashie Kallten Gidiglo, retired Educationists, Ms Yaa Amankwa Opuni, Assistant Registrar, University of Health and Allied Sciences Ho, Mr Anthony Bells Kafui Kanyi, acting Volta Regional Chairman of the Ghana Journalists Association and Mr Bruce Senam McBrain, a member of the Ghana Writers Association.
Source: Ghana/Starrfmonline.com/103.5FM/Lambert Atsivor