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Govt engaging stakeholders, being tactful in passing broadcasting bill – Oppong Nkrumah

Minister for Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah has said government is engaging with relevant stakeholders to pass the broadcasting bill.

According to him, the government is taking inputs from technocrats and industry experts and at the same time being tactful in the passage of the bill so as to not create a situation where it becomes a tool for the successive government to use in stifling media freedom and freedom of speech.

Speaking on TV3’s current affairs programme the Key Point, the Minister for Information, Mr. Oppong Nkrumah said government is treading cautiously in the passage of the bill because one of the key tenants of democracy is media freedom and according to him, it will rather be out of place to pass a bill that curtails the freedom of the media – one of the key players in every democratic dispensation.

We in government or the Ministry of Information responsible for information sector policy formulation agree that there is the need to pass the broadcasting law. I and my directors and technocrats have spent about a year working on it and engaging with stakeholders including the Ghana Independent Broadcasters Association (GIBA), etc but doing it tactfully.

“We are being tactful because media freedoms and freedoms of expression are rights that are given to us by the constitution and which right even though can be effected by law must be done carefully in a manner that we don’t create a ruse for government to use it as an opportunity to stifle those freedoms,” he added.

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His comments come at the back of public outcry calling for the expeditious passage of the broadcasting bill to regulate the media ecosystem following the recent murder of an 11-year-old boy allegedly by two teenagers in Kasoa for money rituals.

This the Minister said that the passage of the broadcasting bill is imminent to control media excesses in the country giving the assurance that when Parliament resumes in May this year, the bill will be laid before the house for deliberations.

He said the bill when passed into law will help among other things arrest the falling standards in Ghana’s electronic media space and ensure it embraces modern best practices.

—Kasapafmonline.com/102.5FM