The Speaker of Parliament, Mr Edward Doe Adjaho, has called for a review of the laws governing the establishment of the National Media Commission (NMC) to enable the commission to serve as an alternative dispute resolution (ADR) and conciliatory platform.
That, he said, would offer the opportunity to aggrieved persons whose reputation had been injured by a section of the media to seek redress.
“These laws should be amended and given the needed teeth to bite otherwise reckless reportage might destroy our peaceful nation any time soon,” Mr Adjaho stated.
Mr Adjaho was addressing the second edition of the Volta Heroes Foundation Awards and Dinner Dance in Ho last Saturday.
Repeal of criminal libel law
He said as the Fourth Estate of the Realm, the media had a responsibility to be temperate in their reportage of political acts and omissions, speeches and events.
“It is the duty of the media to weigh the potential harmful effects of publishing and broadcasting certain statements which are toxic to national health,” “Free speech can only be harnessed for the good of this country if it is exercised with circumspection, knowing fully well that somebody’s rights begin where another’s end.
“The media can assist in the sustenance and strengthening of our parliamentary democracy by becoming more responsible,” he stated.
Mr Adjaho said it appeared the spirit of the amended legislation of the Criminal Libel Law had been lost and that the repeal had made some citizens, sections of the media and journalists reckless and unprofessional in their work.
Touching on the awards event, Mr Adjaho said it was an occasion which had the great potential of transforming the Volta Region with its vast resources.
He said the region needed to work urgently and assiduously to create and maintain a corps of entrepreneurs, critical thinkers and innovators, artisans and a well-motivated workforce to implement its planned agenda for development.
Mr Adjaho said the development of any nation was premised on the aggregate efforts and output of individual citizens whether they were heroes or ordinary people.
In an address read on her behalf, the Volta Regional Minister, Ms Helen Adjoa Ntoso said the initiative of the foundation was important for the development of the Volta Region and that it would continuously energise efforts to develop the region.
In a welcome address, the Chairman of the Volta Heroes Foundation, Mr Rockson Dogbegah said road infrastructure was not the best in the region and was a disincentive to attracting investment into the area.
He expressed regret that the region had lost the enviable position as the cradle of education and that it was unacceptable that no single senior high school in the region was among the first 20 in the last West Africa Senior Secondary Certificate Examination (WASSCE).
Those who were honoured were Monsignor Joachim Boumas Kwamena Eleeza for his contribution to secondary education, posthumous honour for the late Dr Mrs Esther Afua Ocloo, aka Nkulenu, for contribution to women’s empowerment, societal development and industry, and Mrs Vida Aku–Sika Tete-Dzobo, an entrepreneur.
The rest were, Mr Walter Blege who had distinguished himself in the fields of music, education, writing and composing and Mrs Victoria Norgbey for gender advocacy, youth and community development.
Source: Daily Graphic
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