Media stakeholder group to help examine unethical reports

National Media Commission

A joint stakeholder group under the National Media Commission (NMC) is to be set up to examine unethical media content.

This is to help address the question of unethical broadcast content.

This was contained in a communique signed by Mr Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, the Minister of Information, at the end of a Stakeholders’ Consultative Meeting on Broadcasting in Ghana held in Accra.

It said key to the arrangements, was the setting up of a joint stakeholder group as a committee of the NMC in accordance with section 10 of the NMC Act 1993 (ACT 449).

The communique said membership of the Committee was to include representatives of the NMC, NCA, the National Security Secretariat, the Bank of Ghana and the Ghana Independent Broadcasters Association.

Others are: the Ghana Journalists Association, and the Office of the Attorney-General.

The work of the committee is to among other things monitor the broadcasting landscape to identify and to examine complaints of unethical broadcast content.

These include content that is offensive to National Security, Public order, Public Morality, against the reputations, rights and freedoms of other persons and to provide an early warning system for flagging such unethical broadcast content.

The communique recommended appropriate remedies to relevant regulators including recommendations for the issuance (and publication) of warnings, and recommendations for the suspension of frequency authorisation by the NCA.

Other recommendations are for the withdrawal of frequency authorization by the NCA.

Concerning the Draft Broadcasting Bill, the meeting also examined key issues being considered in the development of a broadcasting law for Ghana.

It said while agreeing on several policy propositions, others required further address through memoranda from stakeholder groups.

The communique said stakeholders agreed to submit formal written memos on the Bill for the immediate attention of the Ministry to assist in formulating a final draft.

The communique said stakeholders further agreed to engage the Judiciary on the balance between media gate-keeping and protection of the freedoms of media and expression.

It said the Ministry of Information had committed to hold the engagement annually to examine developments in the industry and agree with stakeholders on measures to further develop the sector.

The Ministry of Information hosted the Stakeholders’ Consultative Meeting on emerging issues relevant to Broadcasting in Ghana.

Stakeholders engaged in the meeting were the Ministry of Information, the Ministry of Communications and Digitalisation, the Ministry of Justice and Attorney-General’s Department, and the Ministry of Local Government, Decentralisation and Rural Development.

The rest were: the National Media Commission (NMC), the National Communications Authority (NCA), the Ghana Independent Broadcasters Association (GIBA), the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA), the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA), and the Judiciary.

Others were: the Bank of Ghana, the National Cyber Security Centre, the National Security Secretariat, the Communications Select Committee of Parliament, the UNESCO Ghana Commission, the National Film Authority, the Local Government Service, and the Gaming Commission.

The discussions focused on the regulatory collaboration to address unethical broadcast content and the draft Broadcasting Bill.

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