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If you don’t regulate yourselves, gov’t will soon regulate you – Prof. Karikari warns media houses

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Photo Reporting: Professor Kwame KarikariIf you don’t regulate yourselves, gov’t will soon regulate you – Prof. Karikari warns media houses

Journalism and Communications expert, Professor Kwame Karikari has warned media houses that failure to regulate themselves will provide an excuse for government to interfere with their work under the guise of responding to public concerns.

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At a National conference to mark 20 years of private broadcasting, the worried expert condemned the Ghana Independent Broadcasters Association (GIBA) for not showing “any inclination for considering mechanism for regulation ethical standards”.

He did not hold back in criticizing some radio stations for throwing away journalistic standards and scornfully ignoring ethics in their quest to satisfy commercial and partisan interests.

Despite using public frequency bought with the promise to serve the public interest, some radio stations are set up to serve their partisan interest.

They have “no interest in educating foot soldiers in democratic ideals. [It is] not about social change but political power” done by waging “campaigns of defamation.”

The worst culprits are some local radio stations whose news items, he said has become “comic shows”, the immediate past Executive Director of the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) said.

If this growing culture of disregard for standards continue, he warned that government could be "goaded into stepping into vaccum on the ostensible rationale of public interest" he told participants at the Accra International Conference Center.

Ghana has over 300 radio stations and about 30 T.V stations. But 20 years ago, there was just one. A spirited attempt by Dr. Charles Wereko-Brobby to test the constitution’s promise to guarantee private broadcasting resulted in the setting up of Radio EYE.

But the station was closed down by the government after 24 hours.

The three-day conference ends on Friday and is being organised to take stock of progress in the media industry and prepare media practitioners of possible trends in the next 20 years. It enters it second day at the Kofi Annan Peace-Keeping Center in Accra.

President John Mahama who opened the conference also observed that fact-checking and professionalism was on the decline and suggested delayed broadcasting as a way to sanitize radio content before letting it out for an audience which is now global.

Source: Myjoyonline|Edwin Appiah|This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



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