An independent media research institution, Centre for Media Analysis (CMA), has dismissed assertions by the National Media Commission (NMC) that the absence of the Content Authorisation Law is hampering its effectiveness.
The NMC, at a news conference Monday July 11, blamed unguarded speech in the media on the absence of the Content Authorisation Law, intended to sanitise the media landscape.
However, speaking to Class News, CMA founder Dr Messan Mawugbe said the NMC could be effective if it redirected its focus.
“I absolutely disagree in the sense that the National Media Commission has the mandate to sanitise media standards in this country. The NMC doesn’t necessarily need content authorisation because if you look at the structure of the Content Authorisation LI, I think to a larger extent it is an affront to our freedom of speech. Rather, what the National Media Commission should be doing is consistent scientific content monitoring in order to benchmark the level of abuses against the standards that have been set. So, we don’t really need that. I think we need to have a permanent code of ethics. These are some of the processes we can talk about…but to put out the argument that without the Content Authorisation Law the National Media Commission is not able to execute its mandate comprehensively, I totally disagree,” he stated.
Meanwhile, the Ghana Independent Broadcasters Association (GIBA) has also said the NMC does not need the Standard Regulation 2224 to be able to crack the whip.
“Are they saying that since 1992 till last year they have been ineffective? [Are they saying] without the content standard circulation they believe they have been ineffective? But why do you have to put in custodial sentences in the law to jail people for content breaches, hate speech, and all those things? We need to fight against them but we will also not sit down unconcerned when we feel that the laws are infringing on some of our rights… The NMC can still crack the whip without necessarily having this high-handed law. When you say people should bring their programme guide, how can you prevent what the person is coming to say?” GIBA president Akwesi Agyemang told Class News.