The Minister for Information, Mr Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, has tasked the National Communication Authority (NCA) and the National Media Commission (NMC) to balance their regulatory functions with the rights to free expression of broadcasters, media practitioners and the entire public.
He said this at the launch of a media content complaints platform by the National Communication Authority and the National Media Commission to sanitise the electronic media space and rid it of inappropriate and egregious content.
“It’s a right we guard jealously in this country. Though you may dislike what somebody says about you, you should defend that person’s right to say it because that right to free expression is one of the highly upheld rights that we must always defend,” he added.
He lauded the collaboration between the two government agencies, saying it was an efficient use of scarce national resources by working together rather than duplicating such an initiative.
Mr Nkrumah also described the new platform as a pragmatic approach to dealing with the rising number of inappropriate content, saying it made use of already existing laws, guidelines, technology and infrastructure.
The Broadcast Content Complaints Centre will allow citizens who view certain content as inappropriate in any way to report or register their displeasure for redress based on established guidelines.
The platform will be accessible to everybody on all mobile phone service networks across the country via toll-free number 0800-419-666.
It is intended to address emerging challenges such as inflammatory speech, unprofessional conduct, the promotion of money-doubling schemes, sexual content at non-watershed hours and content offensive to national security interests, among others.
The initiative forms part of a memorandum of cooperation signed in 2021 between the two entities to collaborate to regulate broadcast content and to ensure that content in the media space is safe, ethical and of high standards.
The complaint centre is also an innovation operated under the NCA’s Broadcast Monitoring Centre (BMC) launched last year to measure the transmission parameters of frequency modulation (FM) and television (TV) in the country.
The complaints centre will, therefore, allow the relevant authorities to be abreast of what goes on in the media space, archive all available media content, and be able to analyse all complaints based on clear criteria for a better and safer viewer experience.
Joyce Adwoa Animia Ocran, ISD