The Communications Minister Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, has served notice that some television stations will soon be closed down as the National Communications Authority (NCA) seeks to enforce regulations on broadcasting.
Responding to action by the Authority, the Vice President of the Ghana Independent Broadcasting Association (GIBA), Ernest Boateng, described it as harsh, rushed and laughable. Also, the Minority in Parliament has added its voice to the ban describing it as ‘draconian’. In a statement last Friday, the group insisted the action by the regulator is ‘troubling’ and may have ‘grave implications for press freedom and media pluralism’. “We are deeply troubled by this development which has grave implications for press freedom and media pluralism. These actions by the NCA threaten to roll back the gains made so far in entrenching a vibrant media culture,” it said.
The minister, advocating on the decision, said, “We all need to recognize that the NCA has a mandate to regulate frequencies in this country and without adhering to those regulations, we run the risk of having it descend into jungle status. We spend valuable time in Parliament passing laws and we frequently bemoan our own inability or reluctance to enforce our own laws making them lose significance. That’s the difference between a civilized society and a state of nature.”
She revealed there is an ongoing audit of some TV stations which use digital platforms for test transmission but risk being closed down if they do not live up to standard.