Mr.Kwasi Gyan Apenteng, a media consultant, has been elected the chairman of the National Media Commission (NMC).
He succeeds Mr. Kabrah Blay-Amihere, former Ambassador to Sierra Leone and Cote D’Ivoire, whose two-term reign has ended peacefully.
Consequently, 18 members of the eighth Commission were sworn into office yesterday by Mr. Justice Joseph B. Akamba, a Justice of the Supreme Court.
He called on the NMC to strengthen its monitoring mechanisms to ensure that media practitioners did not threaten the peace of this country by their unguided pronouncements and sensational stories.
“You are being sworn-in at a time the country enters another phase of its democratic process. Bear in mind that 2016 is an election year and the media, as an agenda setter, must be guided by you to ensure neutrality and a balanced reportage and programming in order not to erode the democratic gains and successes we have achieved since the birth of the Fourth Republic,” he said.
Mr Akamba said though the media were free to criticise, it was about time they weighed the implications of their actions in the interest of the society and the nation as a whole.
“The NMC should also encourage media owners to engage the services of lawyers who would look at stories they churn out with the legal lenses from time to time to avoid some of the problems they face due to ignorance,” he said.
Mr. Akamaba, charged the commissioners to be proactive in resolving complaints that crop up as a result of ethical breaches and professional misconduct by media personnel that will be brought before them.
“Do not disappoint your constituents, who nominated you to represent them on the Commission. Always ensure that your work is national in character bearing in mind that, you will be assessed as commissioners based on your performance as media regulators,” he stated.
Mr. Gyan Apenteng pledged his unwavering commitment to ensure that the media landscape was not used as a cannon fodder to perpetuate violence in the 2016 general elections.
He said that the nation had been riddled with myriad of problems which needed the collective efforts of well-meaning Ghanaians to solve, rather than projecting issues that had the tendency of disturbing the relative peace of this country.
Mr Apenteng assured that the Commission would work hard to sanitise the media landscape, as well as engage Parliament to fast-track the passage of the Broadcasting Bill into law, which he said, was of utmost importance.
The Commission members are, Mr. Kwesi Pratt Jnr., Nominee from the Office of the President, Nana Addo Gyau, Ghana National Association of Teachers, Mr. Ernest Benjamin Kakra Essamuah, National Council of Women and Development, Mr Fritz Baffour, Parliament House, Mr Osei Bonsu Amoah, Parliament House, Mr Richard Mawuli Quashigah, Parliament House, Mr. Williams Orleans Oduro, Ghana Bar Association, Mr. Samuel Atta-Mensah, Ghana Independent Broadcasters Association and Mr. Kwarteng Arthur, nominee from the Office of the President.
The out-going Chairman, Mr. Blay-Amihere who though recounted the challenges the Commission faced, said that some remarkable achievements were made in terms of the acquisition of new office complex at Switchback Road, Cantonments, and resolution of cases between aggrieved parties and the media.
By Castro Zangina-Tong