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General News Fri, 28 Feb 2003

GTV Denies NDC Access?

The opposition NDC says the management of national television, GTV has persisted in treating the party unfairly by denying it opportunities to discuss and debate with government officials on issues of national interest. According to the NDC, coming Sunday’s edition of the Talking Point programme was billed to feature Finance Minister, Yaw Osafo Maafo and the Minority Spokesperson on Finance, Moses Asaga in a discussion on the 2003 budget.

The NDC Director of Communications and MP for Bole Bamboi, John Mahama however told JOY FM that the arrangement was scuttled today under questionable circumstances.

''I had been called two days ago by the producer of the programme and he had told me that they wanted the Minority Spokesman on Finance to appear on talking point with the Honorable Minister of Finance to discuss the budget and just this afternoon, I got a call again from the producer to tell me to inform the Minority Spokesman on Finance, Moses Asaga that the programme is not coming on and that he shouldn’t come to GTV. When I asked why, he said they had decided to change the topic for discussion and that they are going to discuss Distance Learning instead of the budget. I tried to probe why and it seems it was a management decision.

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According to Dr Mahama, GTV has in the past refused to cover certain press conferences organized by the NDC. There have also been times when the NDC wanted to put a message on GTV and they refused with the explanation that it was an off season for campaigns.

The Director of television, Charles Bucknor however says GTV has no plan to deliberately deny the NDC access. He told JOY FM that Sunday’s planned discussion on the budget was postponed to allow further public debate. This is to ensure that viewers have a better understanding of the issues to be able to make informed contribution to the discussion.

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