THE Ghana Independent Broadcasters Associations (GIBA) is taking steps to sanction radio and television stations which violate its professional ethics.
The sanctions include withdraw of licences and suspension of such stations.
As part of the measures to ensure that the stations abide by the broadcasting ethics, so as to sanitize the airwaves the GIBA has developed a code of conduct for the stations.
Paul Crystal-Djirackor, President of GIBA, disclosed these to the Times during the launch of “Radio XYZ”, a new radio station in Accra last weekend.
He said all the stations would be required to sign onto the code, which would serve as operational guidelines for the stations.
According to him “GIBA has been compelled to embark on such self-regulatory measure as a result of increasing misuse of the airwaves by factions and personalities to create tension and insult others.”
“As broadcasters, we influence what people think, therefore, we must begin to realize the privilege of being licensed to deliver this important service,” he stressed.
Kabral Blay-Amihere, Chairman of the National Media Commission (NMC), it was better for GIBA to start its self-regulatory measures before Ghanaians became fed up with them.
He said a review of the constitution to take back the freedom given to the press could happen “when the people begin to realize that the operation of the electronic media is becoming a curse rather than a blessing through the freedom they have been granted”.
Mr Blay-Amihere said “the media has become such a powerful tool that although Ghana is seen as a bastion of democracy and peace, it takes only an indiscretion of a station to ignite a problem in the country.”
He said what happened during a talk programme at an Accra-based radio station where aggrieved supporters of a party stormed the radio station ostensibly to mete out instant justice to a panelist was one of the manifestations that indiscretion of radio stations could foment trouble.
Ambassador Blay-Amihere said though NMC was doing its best to mitigate the emerging phenomenon, “it has not been granted constitutional right to bite where it becomes necessary.”
He, however, noted that the NMC will continue to collaborate with the National Communications Authority which issues licenses to the electronic media to ensure sanity on the airways.
Mr. Godwin Avenorgbor, Managing Consultant of the new radio station said the new station aimed at making a difference on the market.
“We seek the highest professional standards aimed at promoting education and learning to stimulate creativity and cultural excellence in Ghana and the world beyond”, he stressed.
He said the station will be committed to broadcasting accurate, informative, credible and compelling programmes to allow listeners to make their discerning choices.
Mr. Fritz Baffour Minister of Information said “the freedom the media enjoys with its associated power could determine whether the country will make progress in its democratic aspirations or not.”
He bemoaned the current media landscape characterised by insults and uncouth behaviour and called for a change.