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General News Fri, 9 Dec 2005

NMC Chairman resigns

WILSON Kusi-Atansah, Chairman of the National Media Commission has been forced by the board to resign. He handed in his resignation Wednesday after the board?s legal sub-committee had concluded that his continuous tenure as a member of the board was in breach of the law

The sub-committee report advised Mr Kusi-Atansah to resign from the Commission because his continuous membership was infringing upon the National Media Commission Act (Act 449). The law says no member shall serve beyond two three-year terms. He is in his third term, after serving for about eight years. Mr Kusi-Atansah was appointed chairman in October 2003. Not long after that Commission members realised his membership was unlawful. But he is said to have resisted attempts to have him removed.

This led to the setting up of a sub-committee which presented its report on Wednesday, leaving him no other choice. He resigned that same day. The 18-member NMC is expected to meet tomorrow to select an interim chairperson. There are moves to choose a non-law person and break away with tradition.

The functions of the constitutional body include promoting and ensuring media freedom; ensuring ?the highest journalistic standards in the mass media?; and insulating the state-owned media from government control. Another body which expects changes at the top is the National Communications Authority. Major (rtd) J R K Tandoh is expected to lose his job as government seeks to re-appoint the board. The changes are part of ongoing exercise at the Castle to appoint boards of directors of several state institutions, including SSNIT.

The NCA is the regulator and licensing body for the electronic media and telecommunication entities.

The Chairman recently disappointed Government when his organisation took a public swipe against Ghana Telecom in the network provider?s public feud with Areeba, the nation?s biggest mobile phone operator, which derives an estimated 60 percent of its profits from interconnectivity. The NCA?s advertiser?s announcement was seen by the Castle, as manifesting bias or, at least, giving the impression of bias against GT, the mainly Ghana-owned telecom provider, our sources hinted.

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In a related development, the Crusading Guide reported yesterday that Government has expressed disgust at the quality of reportage by JOY FM, an Accra based private radio station on the recent alleged heroin trafficking and arrest of the Member of Parliament for Nkoranza North, Eric Amoateng in the United States.

A complaint signed by Information Minister, Dan Botwe to the chairman of the National Media Commission said Government has been following with ?amazement and disbelief? the quality of reporting by JOY FM on the alleged incident on the station?s various radio programmes and is horrified that the reports have been ?devoid of any sense or modicum of journalistic ethics.?

The Information Minister urged the popular station to ?note that the place of the journalist is not in the arena of the rough and tumble of partisan politics.?

Government in addition is demanding an immediate retraction of the said publications and the rendering an unqualified apology to all who have been ?so terribly maligned.?

The sub-committee report advised Mr Kusi-Atansah to resign from the Commission because his continuous membership was infringing upon the National Media Commission Act (Act 449). The law says no member shall serve beyond two three-year terms. He is in his third term, after serving for about eight years. Mr Kusi-Atansah was appointed chairman in October 2003. Not long after that Commission members realised his membership was unlawful. But he is said to have resisted attempts to have him removed.

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This led to the setting up of a sub-committee which presented its report on Wednesday, leaving him no other choice. He resigned that same day. The 18-member NMC is expected to meet tomorrow to select an interim chairperson. There are moves to choose a non-law person and break away with tradition.

The functions of the constitutional body include promoting and ensuring media freedom; ensuring ?the highest journalistic standards in the mass media?; and insulating the state-owned media from government control.

Another body which expects changes at the top is the National Communications Authority. Major (rtd) J R K Tandoh is expected to lose his job as government seeks to re-appoint the board. The changes are part of ongoing exercise at the Castle to appoint boards of directors of several state institutions, including SSNIT.

The NCA is the regulator and licensing body for the electronic media and telecommunication entities.

The Chairman recently disappointed Government when his organisation took a public swipe against Ghana Telecom in the network provider?s public feud with Areeba, the nation?s biggest mobile phone operator, which derives an estimated 60 percent of its profits from interconnectivity. The NCA?s advertiser?s announcement was seen by the Castle, as manifesting bias or, at least, giving the impression of bias against GT, the mainly Ghana-owned telecom provider, our sources hinted.

ADVERTISEMENT

In a related development, the Crusading Guide reported yesterday that Government has expressed disgust at the quality of reportage by JOY FM, an Accra based private radio station on the recent alleged heroin trafficking and arrest of the Member of Parliament for Nkoranza North, Eric Amoateng in the United States.

A complaint signed by Information Minister, Dan Botwe to the chairman of the National Media Commission said Government has been following with ?amazement and disbelief? the quality of reporting by JOY FM on the alleged incident on the station?s various radio programmes and is horrified that the reports have been ?devoid of any sense or modicum of journalistic ethics.? The Information Minister urged the popular station to ?note that the place of the journalist is not in the arena of the rough and tumble of partisan politics.?

Government in addition is demanding an immediate retraction of the said publications and the rendering an unqualified apology to all who have been ?so terribly maligned.?

Source: Statesman