The Ministry of Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah has announced that a joint stakeholder group will be set up to address the issue of unethical broadcast content in Ghana.
He made the announcement after the ministry’s Stakeholders’ Consultative Meeting on emerging issues relevant to broadcasting in Ghana on Friday, April 16, 2021.
Kojo Oppong Nkrumah in a statement said the stakeholders agreed to set up the joint stakeholder group to examine reports of unethical content and invoke the powers of the National Communication Authority (NCA), to take punitive action against offending broadcasters.
The committee will comprise of representatives of the NCA, the National Media Commission (NMC), the National Security Secretariat (NSS), the Bank of Ghana (BoG), the Ghana Independent Broadcasters Association (GIBA), the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) and the Office of the Attorney-General.
The committee will, among other things, monitor the broadcasting landscape to identify and examine complaints of unethical broadcast content.
These include content that is offensive to national security, public order, public morality, and against the reputations, rights and freedoms of other persons.
It is also expected to provide an early warning system for flagging unethical broadcast content.
The joint stakeholder group will also recommend appropriate remedies to relevant regulators, including recommendations for the issuance (and publication) of warnings, recommendations for the suspension of frequency authorization and the withdrawal of frequency authorization by the NCA.
The regulation of the broadcasting space has received more scrutiny recently following the reported role a spiritualist on TV played in the killing of an 11-year-old by two male teens at Kasoa.
The two teens were said to have told police they were influenced by a live TV show they watched, in which a spiritualist promised a charm called “pocket no dry”.
The incident has since triggered huge public concern about the way spiritualist, money doublers and fraudsters have taken over various TV channels, promising to make people rich overnight.
Indeed, some these fraudsters and spiritualists are on social media as well and they reach out to potential clients boldly with their promises.
There have been several media reports about their failure of the charms promised by these spiritualists, yet several gullible people keep patronizing them.
A former Chairman of NMC, Nana Kwasi Gyan Apenteng thinks a more decisive fix for the problem would be to pass the Broadcasting Law, which has been languishing between Parliament and Cabinet for the past 20 years.
He also thinks broadcasting frequency authorization should be moved from the NCA to NMC, so that the latter can examine the proposed content of applicants before issuing them with frequencies.