Professor Kwame Karikari, the Dean of the School of Communications Studies at the Wisconsin International University, has urged the Board of the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC) to take
steps to study and review its management system.
Prof Karikari, who was a former Director General of the GBC, said it had become necessary to review the management system and processes of the state broadcaster to enhance its operational autonomy of the programmes and news divisions.
He was speaking on the theme: “The State of the State Broadcaster” at the 84th Anniversary Lecture of GBC, in Accra.
He said over the years, the administrative departments, especially the Human Resource, had expanded in size and authority.
This, he said, had resulted in a situation such that news and programmes departments had no control over services like transport, and the heads of those sections exercised minimal disciplinary control of their staffs, hence the call for a review.
Prof Karkari said broadcasting was an industry highly dependent on technology innovations and that any new innovation had implications for human resources capacity, both in terms of numbers to hire or keep and technical skills as well as capacity.
He said the technological innovations had financial implications on the quality of service the corporation provided to the public.
Prof Karikari said there was the need for the National Media Commission (NMC), management and Board of GBC to find a lasting solution to the permanent state of animosity between union and management.
He said to promote transparency, management ought to institute processes of regular communication and consultation with union and staff groups.
He called on the President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to reaffirm his commitment and send a strong signal of disapproval to the sources of threat to the media as the growing feeling of insecurity among media practitioners was very bad for democracy.
Prof Karikari said the country’s broadcasting space and industry had no clear policy direction, adding that, there was the need to review the Broadcasting Bill in a more open manner and lay it before a national conference before it goes Parliament.
He said there was the need to set up a special committee to examine what to do with the state broadcaster, defining its roles in the present day Ghana, and making recommendations for transforming it into a proper public service.
He said the processes concerning the future of GBC ought to include a public discussion and possible review of the roles of the NMC in the management of the state broadcaster.
Prof Karikari said the funding of GBC was an urgent and priority matter that needed to be considered by the stakeholders, and that Government must either repeal the ‘Television License Fee Law’ if it did not want citizens to pay, or find a more acceptable means of collecting the fee.
On his part, Mr Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, the Minister of Information, said government was committed to the Chapter 12 of the 1992 Constitution towards promoting free media practice in the country.
He noted that Government was prepared to support the state broadcaster, saying, it remained committed to its effective operations towards playing a critical role of production and broadcasting of current affairs and programmes to educate and inform the citizenry.
Mr Nkrumah said the government had been working with the GBC and the NMC to refocus the operations of GBC and public service broadcasting in general.
He said as part of government’s collaborative exercise, a high level committee had been set and was working with the aim of examining the current landscape.
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