Media should create platform for exchange of ideas not insults – NMC Chairman

Ambassador Kabral Blay-Amihere - NMC Chairman

Ambassador Kabral Blay-Amihere, Chairman, National Media Commission (NMC), has said that the responsibility of media organizations, especially radio stations was to create platforms for exchange of ideas and not insults in the run up to the 2012 elections.

According to Ambassador Blay-Amihere, the media had a responsibility to ensure that the people had adequate information to make informed choices and not create avenues for politicians to trade insults.

Speaking at a day’s workshop organised by the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE), for selected media personnel from the Ashanti, Brong-Ahafo and the Eastern Regions in Kumasi, he said the media’s role in a violence-free election was critical and that the media should be mindful of that.

The Chairman of the NMC noted in particular, the local FM stations and their choices of words when translating the English version of news to Twi, was a source of worry because it appeared that values and code of ethics of the journalism profession were being relegated to the background.

Referring to the guidelines for fair and equitable coverage of political parties by the state owned media launched by the NMC recently, he said although the focus was on the state media, the NMC would fashion out modalities to deal with abuse of media freedom by the private media.

He indicated that the fashioning of the modalities mainly for the private media had become critical this election year since the private media population was bigger than that of the state media, particularly the private radio stations.

The NMC chairman noted that any attempt to regulate the private media in the same manner like the state owned media would be an attempt to stifle press freedom.

That, he noted, was due to the fact that the same constitution that regulates the state owned media insulated them from state interference and so the private media must adhere to the ethics and rules of journalism.

He reminded media practitioners and all journalists that the repeal of the Criminal Libel Law was not a license to operate without recourse to the rules and ethics because civil libel suits could ruin offending media houses.

Source: GNA

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