In less than a month after the launch of a platform to receive complaints on offensive broadcast contents, 318 incidences of offensive content aired on some media platforms in the country have been identified by the National Media Commission (NMC) for possible sanctions.
Involving 15 television stations, they were cited for broadcasting content including money doubling, money rituals, fake lotteries, occult practices and pornography, on their platforms.
Others also projected fake loan schemes and people seeking to use fraudulent means to extract money from the public on their television stations.
The stations involved are Asomafo TV, Adwenpa TV, Eagle TV, Best TV, Energy TV, Diamond TV, XTV, Asomdwie TV, Funny TV, Advice TV, Big TV, Passion TV, Nkabom TV, Seekers TV, Elephant TV.
According to the Executive Secretary of the NMC, Mr George Sarpong, the reports were received from citizens in less than a month of launching a joint monitoring exercise with the National Communicaton Authority (NCA) to check media content.
A statement signed and issued by Mr Sarpong said, the NMC would intensify its monitoring to nip all such offensive broadcasts in the bud.
In addition to the stations cited, the NMC said, its own professional assessment revealed two dangerous broadcasts with implications for national cohesion that demanded immediate regulatory intervention.
“While one of them involving Power Fm has been resolved, the other, involving Onua TV/ Radio remains outstanding and the NMC will announce its decision on that matter soon.”
The NMC nonetheless asked the offending stations, to immediately “cease and desist from those activities otherwise there will be severe consequences,” it said.
On October 31, 2023, the NMC and NCA launched a toll-free number to identify and address deficits in broadcast content.
The number, 0800-419-666, was activated to call in and make their voices heard on the performance of broadcasting stations especially in relation to content they consider unacceptable by the standards of media ethics, Ghanaian culture, traditions and norms.
The development of the toll-free number, 0800-419-666, followed a collaboration between the National Media Commission (NMC) and National Communications Authority (NCA).
The platform provides the public an opportunity to report to the NMC any contents such as money doubling schemes, money rituals and alcohol advertisements on television or radio which they consider as egregious for immediate action within 30 days by the media regulator.
Minister of Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, launching the platform, said, the platform formed part of the Ministry’s media support programmes.
He said the toll-free number was activated to receive complaints on offensive media contents to help clamp down on the menace.
“The menace of money-doubling, open promotion of ritual murders, alcohol advertisements during the day and other offensive contents have been on the rise on our broadcast platforms.
If we want to preserve our sanity against the infliction of these menace, we need to guard what keep the media space safe. This toll-free number gives the public the power to report these contents for the necessary action to be taken by the NMC,” he stated.
Mr Nkrumah reiterated the need for continuous collaboration between all media stakeholders and state institutions in the usage of scarce resources to tackle the menace.
Describing the move as pragmatic, he said, it would ensure media practitioners put out contents that conform to the GJA Code of Ethics, NMC guidelines for media practitioners and other professional requirements, thereby averting the broadcast of unwholesome contents.
He, however, cautioned the NMC against using the platform to suppress freedom of expression saying that “this tool should be used fairly, justly and transparently when the need arises.”
BY TIMES REPORTER