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We need legislative enhancement to ensure compliance - NMC

BY: Alberto Mario Noretti
Yaw Boadu-Ayeboafo (2nd from right) interacting with George Sarpong (right), Executive Secretary, and some members of the NMC after the orientation programme in Ho
Yaw Boadu-Ayeboafo (2nd from right) interacting with George Sarpong (right), Executive Secretary, and some members of the NMC after the orientation programme in Ho

The Chairman of the National Media Commission (NMC), Yaw Boadu- Ayeboafo, has highlighted the need for legislative enhancement to ensure compliance with the commission’s decisions.

He also said that decisions by the NMC, with regard to complaint settlements, should be more media-friendly.

Mr Boadu-Ayeboafo stated this at a three-day orientation seminar for members of the NMC in Ho in the Volta Region last Friday.

The seminar was organised in collaboration with the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung Foundation, a civil society organization, to refresh the knowledge of the NMC members to enable them to discharge their duties effectively.

The 18 members were taken through topics such as pillars of freedom, media monitoring, the safety of journalists and broadcasting bill analysis.

Others were the broadcasting bill (history and politics), policy implementation of digital migration, The NMC Act, (Act 449) — Which model to follow?, media regulatory institutions: models, types of mandate, digital migration, and The NMC Act- operational analysis.

Support

Mr Boadu-Ayeboafo said the NMC also needed support to set up a functional and useful website, explaining that a body that supervised the mass media must have all its activities at the disposal of the public at the click of a button.

“It is unfortunate that the commission does not have a reliable and dependable website,” he said.

According to the chairman, the NMC was critical to good governance, independent media and freedom of expression.

However, he said, its true mandate was in the area of an independent, free and responsible media which was expected to operate under a social responsibly philosophy.

Mr Boadu-Ayeboafo further said that of all the bodies created under the 1992 Constitution, the NMC was the most resource-starved.

“From the fact that all the Commissioners are part-time, through to inadequate office space to low budgetary allocation, there is everything to confirm that whereas the spirit of the secretariat and commissioners are willing and ready to perform and discharge their duties, the body is weak to do so,” he added.

Assurance

That notwithstanding, Mr Boadu-Ayeboafo gave an assurance that the NMC secretariat was committed to working diligently towards the growth of the commission.

The Executive Secretary of the NMC, George Sarpong, said democracy thrived on the freedom of the media, so developing the media to operate in freedom was in the broader interest of democracy.