NCA and NMC Sign Memorandum of Cooperation To Control Media Content Disseminated
The National Communications Authority (NCA) together with the National Media Commission (NMC) have signed a Memorandum of Cooperation (MoC) which they believe will help control content disseminated by the various media outlets in the country.
According to the State Agencies, they will via the MoU ensure that the Ghanaian media operates on free and fairgrounds.
Addressing Journalists, the Director-General of National Communications Authority (NCA), Joe Anokye said "As an Agency, we are charged with the responsibility of regulating and monitoring licensed and authorization holders, it had no power to regulate contents of media organizations, a situation he said had limited the Authority from undertaking stringent measures including; revoking licenses of broadcasters who churned out unwholesome contents"
The Director-General also mentioned that the signed document will give the Authority enough power to deal drastically with offenders.
“The NCA has punitive powers under the law but does not have the mandate to regulate content. Per Section 13 of Act 775, the NCA can suspend or revoke the frequency authorization, where it is in the public interest or because of National Security. So upon recommendation of the NMC, the NCA is able to legally apply sanctions. The key here is that if we work collaboratively together then the NMC knowing that the media content is not what it is supposed to be can work with the NCA based on the law that empowers the NCA to be able to apply the necessary sanctions,” Mr. Anokye hinted.
It is emerging that Section 3 (d) of the National Communications Act, 2008, Act 769 expects the NCA to not only regulate but also monitor licensed and authorization holders to ensure they use it for its intended purpose.
The NCA's Director-General also mentioned that the establishment of the Broadcast Monitoring System will grant the Authority access to get to know the KPRIs for the licenses that it had likewise authorizations given out, both for TV and radio.
He cautioned the public to desist from running any radio, television, print, and online without authorization from the NCA.
On his part, Chairman for the National Media Commission (NMC), Yaw Boadu Ayeboafoh said "The Commission had been vilified for being inactive even though it had no power to enforce anything beyond asking offenders to render apology or retract stories that were deemed inappropriate. But it was found out that for instance, within the Electronic Communications Act, there are provisions there that if properly applied can be useful for all of us, and therefore, there was the need to work together, even as we work towards legislation that will eventually transfer power to the NMC,”
He pleaded with media practitioners to be mindful of their utterances or write-ups to ensure the safety of all.
The Minister for Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah said "I am urging the NCA and the NMC to implement agreements of the cooperation to address infractions and sanitize the broadcast airspace"
The Minister charged that NMC to bring the public to the known whenever it intends to revoke the license of any media house to avoid misconception and mistrust.
Present at the signing ceremony were President of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA), Ronald Affail Monney, Executive Secretary, Ghana Independent Broadcasters Association (GIBA), Gloria Hiadzi, Director, Public Relations, Ghana Armed Forces, Colonel Aggrey-Quarshie, and Executive Director, Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA), Sulemana Braimah.
Story by: Joshua Kwabena Smith