Stop format of newspaper reviews on radio – Vendors appeal to NMC

Newspaper vendors have appealed to the National Media Commission (NMC) to regulate extensive newspaper reviews on radio and television because such an exercise is impacting negatively on newspaper sales and making it difficult for smaller newspapers to grow.

The vendors were of the view that newspaper sales could be improved if the electronic media could limit themselves to newspaper headlines instead of reading the content of newspapers from cover to cover. 

The vendors in the Western Region made the call at their annual meeting with Mr Ken Ashigbey, the Managing Director of  the Graphic Communications Group Limited (GCGL), in Takoradi on Saturday.

They said it was about time the Copyright Office took action to protect the copyright of the print media.

“It is about time the Ghana Independent Broadcasters Association (GIBA) realised the effects of extensive review of the newspapers by radio stations on the newspaper industry, thereby discouraging people from reading to form their own opinions,” they said. Appeal

They appealed to the GCGL, as a giant in the industry, to rally the support of the smaller newspapers to initiate appropriate measures against radio stations that reviewed print extensively for their own gain.

“It is sad that while we sell the brands of the GCGL, other smaller brands struggle to sell. It is important to note that radio stations have sponsors for the newspaper review segment, meaning they make money from the programme,” they said.

One of the newspaper agents, Mr N.S. Crentsil, said some of the radio stations in the region, just like their counterparts in other parts of the country, read all the stories in the newspapers and as a result, his customers were hesitant to buy the newspapers.

“The radio stations read the headline stories, which are the most important story in the newspaper, in full to their listeners; therefore, there is little incentive for people to buy,” he said.

Mr George Aguair, another agent, suggested the stations should be limited to the headlines instead of the full details.

He suggested that instead of hosting newspaper review shows in the morning, the radio stations should be made to host those shows in the evening “at which time anybody who would want to buy the newspaper would have already done that.” The MD’s response

Responding to the concerns of the vendors, Mr Ashigbey said the GCGL was taking up the issue with the National Media Commission (NMC) and the Copyright Office to stop radio stations from reading everything in the newspaper on air.

He said various reports and studies had confirmed the concerns being raised by the agents and the vendors and noted that since the GCGL was committed to staying in business and selling more newspapers, the company would do everything necessary to limit the newspaper reviews on radio stations and television networks.

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