The newly sworn-in NMC memberss (from left): Ken Agyei Kurachie, Yaw Boadu-Ayeboafoh, Professor Audrey Gadzekpo and Yaw Boaben Asamoah
Justice Kwasi Anin Yeboah, a justice of the Supreme Court, has decried the upsurge of telenovelas on television channels in the country.
He stated that the dumping of telenovelas and the decline of standards on Ghana’s screens deserve urgent attention.
According to the justice of the apex court, the voice-overs in the local languages increase the insidious appeal for such films in the country.
Justice Anin Yeboah made the discourse at the swearing-in of five new members of the National Media Commission (NMC) in Accra yesterday.
They are Ken Agyei Kuranchie, Editor, Daily Searchlight Newspaper; Yaw Boaben Asamoah, Member of Parliament for Adenta; Yaw Boadu-Ayeboafoh, Director of Newspaper Publications at the Graphic Communications Group, and Professor Audrey Gadzekpo of the University of Ghana.
The fifth person, Kwame Ayimadu, representing parliament, was absent.
Justice Anin Yeboah said another issue of grave concern was the unrestricted advertisement of alcohol backed by sexually explicit pictures and messages in the media.
“The damage all this inflicts on the moral centre of the youth in particular is incalculable,” Justice Anin Yeboah stated, adding that “in this respect article 164 of the Constitution which imposes national security, national morality and public order restrictions on the media begs for strict enforcement.”
The judge indicated that it cannot be overstated that the early passage of the Broadcasting Bill will strengthen the content monitoring and regulation of the electronic media.
Justice Anin Yeboah tasked the NMC to enforce diligently the regulatory powers with which it is already clothed in order to inject a semblance of sanity and decency in sections of the media, stressing that “it is sad that these regulations remain paper tigers” while professional excesses and ethical misconduct assume alarming proportions.
He was optimist the expertise, knowledge and semblance of the new members would be brought to bear on the operations of the commission and the media industry as a whole.
Nana Kwasi Gyan Apenteng, Chairman of the NMC, in an address, said the NMC is the poorest cousin of all the institutions created by the 1992 Constitution.
He stated that the NMC has no permanent office while only a fraction of its budget allocation is often provided.
The NMC chairman said allowances of members are usually several months in arrears while salaries of the staff need urgent review.
Professor Gadzekpo in a message delivered on behalf of the new remembers said the members are committed to the oath of office they had taken and the responsibility handed them.
She pointed out that the members are pleased to be part of the already very impressive commission.
Professor Gadzekpo said the media is crucial to Ghana’s democratic survival.
Others members on the commissions are Richard Quashigah, National Democratic Congress (NDC) MP for Keta Constituency, Dr Doris Yaa Dartey, representative of the Ghana Journalists’ Association (GJA), among others.
By Jeffrey De-Graft Johnson