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General News of Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Source: GNA

Two presidential nominees on NMC sworn in

Accra, April 21, GNA - The Chief Justice, Mrs Justice Georgina Theodora Wood, on Tuesday swore into office two presidential nominees of the National Media Commission (NMC) at a ceremony in Accra. The two nominees are Mr Elvis Aryeh, a veteran journalist and former Editor of the Daily Graphic, and Mr Wahid Bampuori-Iddrisu, a legal practitioner.

This brings the number of the NMC to 18. The NMC, which was set up on July 7, 1993 by an Act of Parliament (National Media Commission Act 1993), is composed of government nominees and representatives of several identifiable groups including the Ghana Bar Association, Ghana Journalists Association, Trades Union Congress and Association of Private Broadcasters.

Administering the oaths of allegiance and office, Mrs Justice Wood urged the members to be bold in performing their functions. She said she was not happy about the current practice of impunity going on in the media and that freedom of expression should go with responsibility. The Chief Justice appealed to members to stand up against bad practices that would run the nation down, adding it was easier to destroy the nation than build it. Mr Paul Adu-Gyamfi, Chairman NMC, said freedom of expression did not mean that journalists should not be responsible. He appealed to members to ensure that they abide strictly by the tenets of the constitution as well as their mandate. The NMC Chairman urged journalists to upgrade themselves to clear the negative perception associated with them. Mr Aryeh on behalf of his colleague pledged to abide by the tenets of the constitution so that ideals required of them in the constitution would be fulfilled. He said the media needed more education so that they did not commit avoidable mistakes and ensure that the culture of impunity was not misused.

"Journalists have to rethink their mission and direction," he added. Mr Aryeh condemned acts of blackmail saying victims of blackmail did not get the opportunity to defend themselves, recounting the hustle people went through when they went to court to seek redress. He was optimistic that their presence on the NMC would stimulate awareness on the media landscape.