Ghana Adopts LI To Regulate Media Content

Ghana's Parliament has adopted an LI to regulate the content of electronic communication and broadcasting services.

National Media Commission
National Media Commission

Parliament adopted the National Media Commission (content standards) Regulations, 2015, L. I (2224) on Tuesday. As provided for under Article 11(7) (c) of the 1992 Constitution, the L. I should come into force at the expiration of twenty-one sitting days.

National Media Commission
National Media Commission

According to a report by Parliament’s Committee on Subsidiary Legislation, the Regulation enjoin operators of public electronic communication and broadcasting services as well as producers of content for public electronic communications services to obtain authorization from the National Media Commission before they carry out any content on a public electronic network.

The committee also noted that the Regulations seek to protect minors by ensuring that any material that is broadcast shall be free from any type of communication that may impair the physical, mental or moral development of a child. Material and all forms of communication shall also be projected in a manner and within a time period that is protective or sensitive to children by the appropriate scheduling of the start and finish time of the program and the nature of the channel or station.

The report further indicated that the Regulation also enjoin operators to ensure that presenters do not allow operators services to be used during phone-ins to abuse and defame other persons or to make unsubstantiated allegations against persons who may not have appropriate and timely opportunity to respond to such allegations.

Moving the motion for the adoption of the report of the Committee, its Chairman, O. B. Amoah, observed that social media in recent times is being used as a platform to heighten ethnic and religious tensions and to generally exploit other variables of identity politics to the detriment of the nation.

Therefore, there is the need to set some basic standards of quality in content for operators of electronic communication and broadcasting services. Adding that there is also the need for a single legislation in the media industry, which would set the standards for the content of public electronic communication and broadcasting services among others.

Source: Clement Akoloh

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