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General News of Wednesday, 7 April 2021

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Media Commission has no powers to regulate media content - NMC Chairman

Yaw Boadu-Ayeboafo, Chairperson of the National Media Commission (NMC), says “the authority of the NMC as far as regulating content is very limited.”

Speaking on Joy News on Tuesday in a report monitored by GhanaWeb, the Chairperson of the NMC indicated that the Constitution of Ghana gives the NMC the powers to promote the highest journalistic standards.

He added that the NMC has broadcasting guidelines for broadcast media houses, but when it attempted to turn some of its guidelines into regulation, Parliament declined and prevented them from pursuing their planned agenda.

“…subject to the provision in the Constitution, the NMC cannot interfere with the workings of any media house or any media person,” Boadu-Ayeboafo said.

He stressed that the NMC “can only act where provision is made for them to act”.

“So, the NMC cannot for instance, say that somebody has put offensive material on air, the NMC cannot close down that station. It can only appeal to the owners of that station, to be decorous in the way that they go about their responsibilities.

"And most of the time, it is the code of ethics of the NMC [....] the Constitution and the NMC law, Act 449. Ask the NMC to apply the provisions of the code of ethics of the professional association that it is dealing with in terms of expecting professionalism from those institutions.”

Yaw Boadu-Ayeboafo’s comments were a reaction to the recent murder of a 10-year-old boy in Kasoa by two of his friends, and the subsequent pressure on the NMC from politicians and the general public to do its job of regulating media content.

Others have called for such stations to be shut down but that falls within the remit of the National Communications Authority, even though the NCA will act based on reported bad content.

The Ghana Police Service, on Tuesday, at the Awutu Ofankor District Court stated that two teenage suspects gruesomely murdered their friend Ishmael Mensah with the intention of using his body parts for money rituals.

The Police indicated that the suspects upon interrogation confessed that they discovered a spiritualist on TV, who told them to bring an amount of GH¢5,000 so that they could become instant billionaires.



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