Ghanaian media pioneer calls for a broadcasting law

Dr. Wereko-Brobbey
Dr. Wereko-Brobbey

Dr Charles Wereko-Brobbey, broadcast media pioneer, has advocated the establishment of a broadcasting law to bring sanity and order to the practice of independent broadcasting.

He said the absence of a law to regulate independent broadcasting had literally led to the creation of an uncontrolled and messy media jungle with no defined bounds.

Dr Wereko-Brobbey made the call at a lecture delivered in Accra on Thursday, as part of activities to celebrate this year’s World Press Freedom Day, which is on the theme: “Media Freedom and informed Populace: The 1992 Constitution and the liberalization of the airwaves”.

He said Ghana’s broadcasting environment had travelled from the monotonous singularity of Ghana broadcasting radio into the jungle and quagmire of overwhelming pluralism and sameness of output characterized by no control of language, accuracy or legality of what goes out.

Dr Wereko-Brobbey said when President John Dramani Mahama was the Minister of Information, he sought to bring sanity and decorum to the growing use of unpolished and indecent language on the airwaves by proposing time delay technology to the broadcasting operations, but he was not supported as his proposal was seen as the opening wedge by the government to bring back censorship and control through the back door.

“In 2001, the Attorney General Nana Akufo Addo also sought to give legal teeth to the policing powers of the National Media Commission (NMC) to oversee the media, but his proposal was also rejected outright by Ghana’s media and the Commission has remained a toothless bull dog”, he said.

Dr Wereko-Brobbey said Ghana’s media had assumed an unfettered freedom without any restraints and it was time it allowed itself to be checked by advocating for the establishment of a broadcast law.

He also called for the repeal of the National Communication Act  “that gives the Minister of the ruling government supervising powers of allocation of broadcasting frequency instead of the independent NMC.

Dr Werko-Brobbbey said the media in Ghana had abandoned their watchman role, especially after the repeal of the criminal libel law in 2001, and was rapidly falling into the danger of uncontrollable and proud collaborators of the rulers against the personal and collective interest of the people.

“The discourse and output of Ghana’s media is dominated by loud, partisan, but hollow posturing by surrogates acting on behalf of the political classes, both the rulers and those waiting to be ruled and it is facile and uninformed propaganda devoid of any or little factual information or weighty ”, he said.

Dr Werko-Brobbbey  said there was no diversity in the operations of the media, and urged practitioners to have diversity in their programmes.

Mr Kabral Blay Amihere, Chairman of the NMC, said, the broadcasting media owe its allegiance to Dr Charles Wereko-Brobbey, who was the founder of Ghana’s first private radio station, the RADIO EYE.

He urged media practitioners to also find time and tell their own stories in order to help expand the media industry.

Source: GNA

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