The National Media Commission (NMC) has written to the Ghana Independent Broadcasters Association (GIBA) stating that it cannot dictate to the Commission.
This follows a letter sent to NMC by GIBA indicating that the move by the NMC to impose sanctions on Onua FM and Onua TV without due process is unacceptable.
“GIBA frowns at the actions taken by the NMC in addressing the issue of the alleged ethical journalistic infraction by the two stations for the reasons that, the Association believes there are far more avenues to explore in addressing the matter on hand, such as giving the opportunity for fair hearing to the stations rather than pronouncing sanctions upon them to the extent of alerting the Advertisers Association of Ghana of a Notice of Suspension without due process.
“GIBA believes that such actions which are tantamount to depriving the stations of their advertising revenue is unacceptable. The fact that the NMC sought to cut-off the life support of the stations by writing to the AAG is damaging,” the association said in its release.
Replying to GIBA, the NMC said the association's claim has no foundation.
“We also wish to provide you information that the claim in your press statement that the Commission acted without “giving the opportunity for fair hearing to the stations rather than pronouncing sanctions upon them” has no foundation,” the NMC in its letter dated December 1 said.
The Commission in its letter stressed that it has not issued any “sanctions” on the two offending stations yet.
It said what it has done is to file a notice of suspension to Onua FM and Onua TV.
“We did that after issuing them warnings to desist from their professional delinquency. Neither the “cease and desist” orders nor the notice of suspension constitutes sanctions,” the NMC letter said.
Ghana Independent Broadcasters’ Association
December 1, 2023
GIBA PRESS STATEMENT OF NOVEMBER , 2023
We write with reference to your press statement issued on Thursday, November 30, 2023 regarding the Commission’s intervention to grant Onua TV and Onua Fm their wish to exit the broadcasting market by unprofessional practice.
Our notice of suspension stands.
To the extent that the stations invited this upon themselves, please note that your press statement is of no consequence to the process. We wrote to you out of courtesy so if it is your wish that we do not grant you that courtesy in future, we respect that.
Regarding how we deal with other organisations including the Advertising Association of Ghana, the ordinary rules of etiquette would require you not to attempt to dictate to us.
We also wish to provide you information that the claim in your press statement that the Commission acted without “giving the opportunity for fair hearing to the stations rather than pronouncing sanctions upon them” has no foundation.
NMC has not issued any “sanctions” on the two offending stations yet.
What we have done is to file a notice of suspension. We did that after issuing them warnings to desist from their professional delinquency. Neither the “cease and desist” orders nor the notice of suspension constitutes sanctions.
A “cease and desist” order only warns a criminal, wrong doer or a delinquent professional to stop their misbehaviour and to withdraw from their lawlessness. It does not constitute “sanctions.” It is akin to asking a pickpocket to stop stealing or to stop a person poisoning the public well to stop his murderous act. It does not involve any “hearing.”
“Opportunity for fair hearing” comes in when the criminal ignores the warning and puts himself in harm’s way with the law. It is at that point that the wrong doer, faced with the law, is given “opportunity for fair hearing.”
We have initiated a process. We assure you that the errant stations may have their “opportunity for fair hearing” at the right time in the appropriate forum.