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General News of Monday, 19 April 2021

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Broadcasting bill: Not any and everything must be allowed on the air – Information Minister

Government expects full and unconditional cooperation of all stakeholders in the drafting of the Broadcasting Bill which according to Minister of Information, Kojo Oppong-Nkrumah, is about 75% complete.

Speaking on Joy News’ ‘The Probe’ programme monitored by GhanaWeb on Sunday, April 18, 2021; the minister said by the time Parliament resumed in May, the full draft bill should be ready to be transmitted to the house.

“I think that we are about 75% there in dealing with the broad strokes of the issues. There are emerging issues that we have raised to get some guidelines in constructing the executive’s policy propositions on.

“Our expectation, our intention is that by the time parliament resumes in May, we should be in a position with what is left of the work we have done, to lay it before parliament because what happens typically is for Parliament to also do its consultations … they may fetter what we have sent in, they may agree with it, they may disagree with it.

On the subject of stakeholder support for the bill, he said: “This is one piece of legislation that I am hoping that we can all, in sincerity, work on in good faith, and examine what is becoming of our broadcast landscape and agree on what must be done together.

“We win together, we swim together, we sink together,” he stressed.

He defended the fact that the state maintained a certain level of control in setting boundaries and drawing lines relative to what can be put on air or not relative to talk that self-regulation needed to be respected.

“That is a genuine concern but every society while agreeing that you have the right to choose even sometimes because of age stratification etc.

“Every society also draws the line in the sand on what cannot be shown on broadcast platform. I am not sure you can say you want to watch a show on babies being raped or children being raped on television because that is your desire, you want to watch it.

“So there will be some limits that every society will draw a line in the sand that you can show and watch all things or all of these at these times but these go beyond the border and for us as a society, we think that it ought not to be allowed,” he averred.

He said government was doing all it takes to ensure that the relevant state institutions especially the National Media Commission, NMC; acts within the law and that all rights being enforced currently are not eroded by portions of the Broadcasting Bill when it eventually becomes law.

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