A seven-member Committee charged with the responsibility to provide technical expertise for the drafting of a Broadcasting Bill for the consideration of Cabinet was yesterday inaugurated in Accra by the Minister of Information, John Tia Akologu.

The Committee will also assist in the drafting of a specific Broadcasting Bill related to the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation towards making the station a real public broadcaster.

The team has three months to complete its work for onward consideration and possible passage in the first quarter of 2011 to regulate the broadcasting industry.

Mr Akologu said among its terms of reference the Committee is to review the extent to which existing laws affect broadcasting in the light of current trends as well as the extent of legislative weaknesses in the Information, Communication and Technology sector.

Mr Akologu said the need to expand the frontiers of freedom of speech and expression had often led to abuse of the integrity of individuals and institutions.

He said open verbal attacks on the integrity of some individuals by the media through inflammatory language borne out of ignorance or sheer malice was a matter of concern.

He said political polarisation had led to unwarranted attacks on people adding that “there is the need to strengthen the laws so that we play by the rules of the game”.

Mr Akologu hoped that the members would bring their rich experiences to bear on the work for fruitful results.

He urged the members not to get frustrated with problems they might encounter in the discharge of their work but strive to do a good work.

The Minister of Communication, Haruna Iddrisu, said the bill was expected to regulate both content and programming, adding that the public should have the power to assess whether the media was living up to expectation or not.

He said while the government upholds the need for media freedom, there was also the need for the media to be responsible so that “the people will not be bruised.”

The members of the committee are Professor Lionel Abraham, acting Rector of the National Film and Television Institute, Berifi Appenteng, a media consultant, Mrs Ethel Appiah of the Attorney General’s Department and Breda Atta Quayson of the Graphic Communications Group Limited.

The rest are Dr Nii Moi Thompson, an Economist, Professor Kwame Karikari, and Executive Director of Media Foundation for West Africa and Professor Kwame of Radio Ada.

Source: Daily Guide