Election 2016: NMC vows to sanitise airwaves

gyan apenteng nmcThe National Media Commission has announced that it has developed new guidelines to check the use of intemperate and inflammatory statements in the media ahead of the November polls.

The move comes amidst several complaints about the increasing level of foul language being used in the Ghanaian media.

The commission’s earlier attempt to regulate content of Media Houses was blocked by the Supreme Court.

Last week, some panelists on Accra-based Montie FM were summoned by the Supreme Court for threatening judges during a radio discussion.

Chairman of the National Media Commission, Kwasi Gyan Apenteng announcing the guidelines to Journalists Monday said the move is to ensure that the media behaves professionally ahead of the polls.

He also added that the long-term plan would also ensure that no Media House contributes in any way to election related violence.

“Other duties include reporting and monitoring vote counting and scrutinizing the electoral process itself…by and large, the media have done well over the years in performing election-related assignments to contribute to our democracy.

“However as we have seen, in the course of political campaigns, some people resort to the use of inflammatory, distasteful and provocative language and this situation has understandably caused alarm among the population.

“The recent offensive effusion by some radio panelists underscores the alarm and the need for the nation to ensure that the abuse of our airwaves does not lead to violence before, during and after the elections.

“We are all aware of the role of the media in the election related violence in some countries and the Rwandan genocide of 1994 among many such tragedies,” Mr. Apenteng said.

The NMC boss added: “There have been many calls on the NMC to do something about the deteriorating standards of political communication in the media and we really appreciate why this is so. However, we would like to assure Ghanaians that while we are able to deal with these eruptions as they occur, we have deployed and continue to use strategies that in the long-term will rid of us of such abuses of our media resources especially broadcasting.

“The NMC has developed a number of documents that contain guidelines for many media activities. These include the guidelines on political journalism, which directly addresses many of the violations in question. Other guidelines in the series are; guidelines for political advertising, guidelines for local language broadcasting, guidelines on fair and equitable coverage of all parties by the state owned media, print media guidelines and others. We urge all practitioners to incorporate these guidelines in their everyday work.”

Source: starrfmonline.com

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