Withdraw request for GBC to abandon 3 channels on DTT platform – GJA

The Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) yesterday called for the immediate withdrawal of the directive, requesting the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC) to abandon three of its six channels on the Digital Terrestrial Television (DDT) platform.

In a statement issued by the association in Accra on Monday, July 20 and signed by the president of GJA, Mr Roland Affail Monney, it said that, the directive contravenes constitutional provisions and would endanger the activities of the station.

“It is the view of the GJA that the directive will significantly impact on the operations of the GBC and amount to interference by government in the work of the state owned media,” the statement said.

“This is against the provisions of Chapter 12 of the 1992 Constitution,” it added.

The directive by the Communications Minister has the potential of curtailing the operations of media houses, particularly a state owned media, which the constitution has specifically asked to be insulated from governmental control by a constitutional body.

The mother body for journalists in the country, GJA has therefore, demanded that the directive by the Ministry of Communications to GBC and other media houses on their channels on the DTT platform be brought to a halt with immediate effect.

Accordingly, the GJA has called on the National Media Commission (NMC) and all relevant stakeholders to ensure all concerns over the DDT platform be ironed out.

Meanwhile, the GJA has also urged for a long term solution to this and any other issues confronting the highly sensitive media industry is for Ghana to attach utmost urgency to the enactment of a broadcasting law.

In the manner, the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) has also raised concern over the same directive by the Minister of Communications, and called on President Akufo-Addo to revoke the order should the sector minster fail to do so.

In a press release by the foundation copied to the Ghanaian Times, the foundation mentioned that, instruction by the minister contravenes constitutional and regulatory provisions on the autonomy of the state broadcaster and also undermines media pluralism.

“The foundation also stated that, the directive was counterproductive, as the president has relied on the GBC channels in delivering his periodic updates on the country’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic,” the statement said.

The foundation has since called on the regulator of the Ghanaian media landscape, the NMC to expedite efforts in ensuring that, the state broadcaster is insulated from any form of control.

“We also call on the NMC to assert its constitutional responsibility of insulating the state broadcaster from governmental interference and control,” the statement mentioned.

The Communications Minister, Mrs Owusu-Ekuful in a letter dated June 26, 2020, addressed to the Director General, Professor Amin Alhassan, asked the state broadcaster to reduce its six digital channels to three.

BY TIMES REPORTER

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