Mr. Godfred Yeboah Dame, Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, says attempts to govern the media are based on legislation and follow world best practices, adding that “regulating the media is not illegal.”
According to him, the 1992 Constitution architecture foresaw the need to control the media system, protect citizens’ reputations and interests, and maintain public morals and justice.
He pointed out that while the Constitution granted the media freedom of speech and information in Articles 162 and 163, it also imposed fair restrictions on the media to protect the rights of others.
Mr. Yeboah Dame made these comments at a consultative meeting on broadcasting in Ghana held by the Ministry of Information in Accra on Friday.
This comes in the wake of recent events in the media world, in which some networks have allowed the airing of objectionable content such as money doubling, a money tradition, obscene materials, false news, and hate speech.
The meeting brings together key media stakeholders to discuss the steps that need to be taken to govern media content and impose effective penalties on violators.
The meeting will also address the Draft Broadcasting Bill and include feedback in order to help it become law.
The Ghana Independent Broadcasting Association, the Ghana Journalists Association, the National Media Commission, the National Communication Authority, UNESCO, the National Cyber Security Centre, the Media Foundation for West Africa, the National Security, and the Bank of Ghana are among the members.
In his welcome remarks, Information Minister Kojo Oppong Nkrumah said Ghana had made significant strides in improving media freedom of speech and had been a shining model in Africa.
However, he stated that there had been an increase in risks to media freedom as a result of certain media outlets publishing offensive news and that it was necessary to restrict the media room to avoid further damage to the public.
He listed illegal contents such as the broadcasting of obscene items, the promoting of money rituals, money doubling, and the advertisement of unapproved products, among other crimes.
Therefore, he said, the stakeholders must find a common ground to deal decisively with inappropriate media contents and apply sanctions to offenders.