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IEA Retreat Calls For Delay Broadcast   
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Participants and resource persons at a 3-day retreat organized by the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) have called for the rigid enforcement of the use of delay broadcast equipment in the radio and television stations.

The retreat, held under the theme “Reducing Political Tension and Polarization Ahead of Election 2012” was organized for senior media personnel and leaders of political parties, saw participants engaged in frank and open discussions after which they unanimously agreed that both politicians and media practitioners have a crucial role to play in protecting and sustaining Ghana’s democracy.

They agreed that the use of the delay broadcast equipment would help eliminate insults and vulgarity from radio stations, an unsolved challenge that poses a potential threat to the country’s democracy.

The retreat was addressed by a host of resource persons including the Most. Rev. Prof. Emmanuel Asante; Presiding Bishop of The Methodist Church of Ghana and President of the Christian Council,
Professor Justice A.K.P. Kludze; Visiting Senior Fellow at IEA, Prof. Kwamena Ahwoi of Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA) and Berifi Apenteng; Managing Director, TV Africa.

Other resource persons are Ambassador Kabral Blay Amihere; Chairman of the National Media Commission and Akoto Ampaw; a lawyer.

A communiqué issued at the end of the retreat said “after listening to the presentations and discussions, participants were unanimous that the media has a crucial role to play in reducing political tension and polarisation. However, the resource persons and participants identified serious and disturbing trends which
needed to be dealt with decisively to enable the media to contribute more meaningfully to democracy and national development.”

The communiqué continued that “participants appreciated the role played by the media in national development but noted that it is only when the media operate responsibly that they would impact positively on national discourse, democracy and development. They accordingly urged the media to work towards accountability and responsible behaviour.”

It said the participants nevertheless acknowledged the role talk shows and phone-ins play in deepening the country’s democracy and expanding the frontiers of national discourse but noted the challenges in managing them which had led to the putting out of divisive information, unsubstantiated allegations, plain lies and degrading insults.

According to the communiqué, participants agreed that it was precisely because serial callers were rewarded by political parties and politicians that they felt no sense of shame in subjecting political opponents to public ridicule, abuse and insults as well as the peddling of lies.

They therefore called on politicians who sponsored serial callers to put a stop to it and called on the media to move away from pettiness and sensationalism and cooperate with political parties to weed out persons who engaged in hate speech, insults and vilification.

And they also called on politicians to do away with unsavoury comments, insults and the peddling of falsehoods which only fouled the political and social atmosphere.
Source: Daily Guide

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