Dozing, snoring NMC, NCA

Editorial Dozing, snoring NMC, NCA
MAR 13, 2024 LISTEN

Early 2009, Ghana was honoured with the visit of President Barack Obama during which he made a profound statement in Parliament. He told our MPs thus, “Africa doesn’t need strongmen, it needs strong institutions.”

This statement has since resonated on many Ghanaians who expect our political actors to build strong institutions to ensure the attainment of national goals.

However, after almost 15 years of that engagement with the former United States of America’s President, many of our regulatory institutions are pale shadows of what is expected of them.

When we look at the media space, two institutions that are sleeping on their jobs are the National Media Commission (NMC) and the National Communications Authority (NCA) and because of this inertia, some media people are abusing the ethics of the journalism.

It is interesting if not funny for some media houses, especially radio and television stations, to state disclaimers dissociating themselves from views expressed by their panel members. These media houses are mistaken.

So long as these media houses allow their platforms to be used to malign others, they would equally be liable if those so defamed resort to legal actions.

Again, it is important to understand the intendment of the framers of the Constitution and which is to provide a legal framework to enhance civil liberties. That is why the Constitution guarantees the freedom of expression and of the press. But that does not mean the actors in the media space should be allowed to abuse media freedom.

We are worried that NMC has refused to crack the whip on errant media houses. In this instance, the NMC must be bold to insist on the standards and regulations to achieve a wholesome media environment.

Media General, owners of TV3, Onua TV and Onua FM where Captain Smart plies his trade must put up with standard behaviour in the media or shut up.

One of the provisions of the GJA code enjoins practitioners not to intrude into any body’s private life, grief or distress unless justified by overriding consideration of public interest.

We may want to ask the GJA whether its code of ethics remains mere paper tiger and it is not able to bite the journalists who work with impunity?

There are many decent and discerning people who listen and watch programmes by Media General’s channels. That is why journalists who are privileged to work there must credit us with some intelligence and play by the rules.

We know the political persuasion of the owners of Media General but we will not begrudge them so long as they compel the board, management and staff to work within the confines of the law.

Presently, we think the channels are being used to pursue a political agenda and vendetta. Hard pressed with the persistent agitation about his health status, the late President Mills was on record to have retorted, “enti won yarea” to wit, “so we don’t fall sick?”

We all have one health condition or the other. In the era where the NDC cannot make a case for its political platform, without comparison, sometimes comparing apples with oranges, will it be right on our part to ask the NDC to tell Ghanaians what killed their stalwarts like former President Rawlings and Mills, former Vice President Amissah Arthur, PV Obeng and Dr. Kwesi Botchwey?

Colleagues in the media, let us remind you again about the terrorist attack on a mall in Nairobi, Kenya, during which former diplomat Kofi Awoonor died and whether we saw pictures of our compatriot in the international media. If it were in our jurisdiction, those horrible graphic presentations would feature on our media platforms.

All sane voices must rise up against media tyranny else the Rwanda experience looms.

Source: Daily Guide