The Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) has urged the National Communications Authority (NCA), to immediately review the decision to close down two Accra-based radio stations.
According to the GJA, the NCA’s action leading to the shut down of Radio Gold 90.5 FM as well as Radio XYZ 93.1 FM, has the tendency to undermine media freedom in the country.
Officials from the regulatory agency on Thursday afternoon stormed the premises of Radio Gold and Radio XYZ –both pro-opposition National Democratic Congress stations- and ordered their immediate closure.
Ursula Owusu Heads the Communications Ministry which supervises the NCA
The action, according to the NCA, was an enforcement of the decision of the Electronic Communications Tribunal which includes closing down radio stations operating without valid authorisations.
Reacting to the development, the GJA in a statement issued Friday and signed by its President, Roland Affail Monney noted that the decision by the NCA suggests that only the two radio stations operate in the country without valid licenses.
“Without casting doubt on such possibility, it would be prudent for the NCA to, in the interest of transparency, and in order to elevate its decision above reproach, publish the authorisation status of all broadcasting operators in the country,” the GJA demanded.
GJA added that “the action of the NCA has the tendency to undermine media freedom in Ghana as enshrined under Chapter 12 of the 1992 Constitution.”
It said the framers of the 1992 Constitution had very good reasons to grant such elaborate freedoms to the media, although with responsibility. “And nothing must be done to upstage the mindset of the constitutional framers.”
In the light of the reasons cited above, the GJA calls on the NCA to immediately review its decision urging the regulator to give the two defaulting companies a lifeline to renew their authorisation and operate.
File photo: NCA executives in a meeting with some journalists
The Ghana Independent Broadcasters Association-GIBA has described the decision of the National Communication Authority to shut down Radio Gold and Radio XYZ, as too harsh.
President of the association, Andrew Danso Anninkora, said on Joy News’ TopStory Thursday that, the way out to resolve the impasse is “not the recitation of laws but dialogue.”