14 July 2017

Lack Of Laws On Competition Threatens Ghanaian Media Existence – FES | General News

The Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES), a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) for promoting social security, has expressed concerns about the lack of laws on competition to streamline the media landscape in the country.

According FES, the situation of no laws on competition to guide the media industry is gradually becoming an affront to the free operation of the media organisations in the country.

Mr Christopher Forst, the acting Resident Director of FES revealed this at the launch of the fourth in the series of the African Media Barometer (AMB) 2017 in Accra.

He said the lack of laws on competition to guide the media landscape has resulted in politicians and business people buying the media in the country.
The lack of the key law on competition, he maintained, has led many of the media organisations doing their own thing in the name of entertaining, educating and informing the public even though Chapter 12 of the Constitution of the country ensures freedom of the media as well as the independence of the state media institutions.

According to him, the AMB is the first in-depth and comprehensive description and measurement system for national media environments on the African continent based on home-grown criteria.

He noted that barometer identified that the lack of policy on sexual harassment in the newsroom coupled with low remunerations for journalists is fast becoming an affront to the practice of journalism in the country.

“The recommendations of the AMB-Report will be integrated into the advocacy work by the local FES office and was used by other donors and media organisations,” he explained.

He said the benchmarks for the AMB are, to a large extent, taken from the African Commission for Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR) and its “Declaration of Principles on Freedom of Expression in Africa” adopted in 2002 by the Head of States of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

He stated that in implementing the AMB, the FES only serves as a convener of the panel and as guarantor of the methodology.

He admitted that the content of the discussion and the report is owned by the panel of local experts, made up of five media practitioners and five representatives from civil society organisations and does not represent or reflect the view of FES whatsoever.

The launch was attended by George Sarpong, Executive Secretary of National Media Commission (NMC), Zakaria Tanko Musa, a Lecturer at the Ghana Institute of Journalism (GIJ), Mrs Charity Binka, a media practitioner and a representative of the Women Media and Change as well as Andrews Danso Anninkora of the Ghana Independent Broadcasters Association (GIBA), the umbrella body of broadcasters in the country.

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