General News of Friday, 26 October 2018
IMANI Africa has waded into the digital terrestrial television (DTT) platform impasse between government and the national media commission urging the government to stay off the management of the facility.
According to a Vice President of IMANI Selorm Branttie, the NMC has enough experience and expertise and must be allowed to manage the DTT.
“The state should not be a stakeholder in the Private media landscape. The NMC has been in existence for long and they should spearhead this whole thing. DTT is technology and not governance and so the government should not get involved with it. The only time there will be a risk in running a DTT platform is when government is involved,” he told Morning Starr host Francis Abban Friday.
Government has served notice it will set up a new company under its supervision to manage the DTT platform. The government will also appoint the Chief Executive Officer and members of the board of the company.
However, the Ghana Independent Broadcasters Association (GIBA) believes the action by government is dangerous to the media environment.
“The framers of the constitution thought it wise to put State Owned Media under the National Media Commission (NMC) to ensure the national interest is protected. If the management of the DTT platform is put under government control, it means the fundamental rights of the people we’ve been protecting all these years will no more be protected. We do not know what interest the Communication Ministry has in this whole DTT platform and its management. If we allow the government to control the DTT platform, it means the management will change every time there is a change in government and that is and won’t be healthy ,” President of GIBA told Francis Abban on the Morning Starr Wednesday.
He added GIBA may go to court to seek clarification on the matter.
Meanwhile, the National Media Commission (NMC) has petitioned President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and the Speaker of Parliament to intervene and prevail on the Ministry of Communications to review its decision and draft documents on the formation of a company to manage Ghana’s digital terrestrial television (DTT) platform.
According to the NMC, the ministry’s decision and the relevant draft document, if implemented the way they were now, would violate Article 168 of the 1992 Constitution, which vests the commission with the power to appoint the members of the boards and the chief executive officers (CEOs) of state-owned media organisations, in consultation with the President.