There is no consensus to regulate media in Ghana – NMC Executive Secretary

Source the Ghana Report

The Executive Secretary of the National Media Commission (NMC) has disclosed that the lack of consensus on how the media should be regulated is a contributory factor to unregulated media content in the country. This is in spite of the fact that all stakeholders agree on the need to have some form of regulation of media content. 

 “We could do better with our regulation and I think that everybody has given an indication of why we need to look at the framework with caution. All stakeholders see the need to regulate and sanitize the media space but there is no consensus on the form and substance of that regulation” Mr. Sarpong observed

He said that the court seems to make it expensive for the NMC to come up with regulations.

“For example, the policy and regulatory ambivalence as shown very clearly in the responses of the Supreme Court to issues are very expensive. So look at the fact that anytime somebody has been critical of the court, the court has used its power of contempt to deal with the person but when the National Media Commission came up with LI 224, which provided the standard to protect the entire society the court said no, you can’t do that because it will infringe the right to free expression” he stated.

Mr. Sarpong argued that the security agencies, parliament, and the courts are able to use their powers to protect themselves but the public has no such power to protect them.

“The general society is left unprotected. If you are in the larger society you have no protection so this privatization of the public authority is part of the dilemma we need to address. I say this to draw attention that while there appears to be a consensus that we need to have regulations, the content, form, and direction and who is to be the subject of protection and what kind of content to be considered unproductive are still issues of debate” he lamented.

He stressed that it is not every infraction seen in the media that is unintended, hence regulation has become critical. When we talk of training it is upon the presumption that people don’t know what to do and therefore education will provide them the capacity to do what is right.

He further indicated that there are instances where people generally know what to do but because of some preference they decide to do what is not right and they do so because they know there are no consequences.

“As we say, sometimes people don’t do what is expected, they do what is inspected and we think that we need to come to a consensus about some democratic framework for regulating the media in Ghana especially broadcasting,” the executive secretary said on TV3.

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