General News Thu, 29 May 2003

Radio Stations Should Pay Royalties

The Minister of Information, Nana Akomea, has suggested to the National Media Commission (NMC) to find ways by which radio stations could pay royalties to print media organizations for reviewing their newspapers.

He noted that apart from the review affecting the circulation of the newspapers, they are also part of the programmes of the radio stations and said the payment of such royalties is not out of place because the stations are using the property rights of the media organizations to promote their businesses.

He suggested that such royalties should be paid into a fund to be managed by the NMC which will share it among beneficiary newspaper organizations according to their circulation figures.

Nana Akomea made the suggestion when he paid a familiarisation visit to the Graphic Communications Group Limited (GCGL) in Accra yesterday. He was accompanied by his two deputies, Messrs Stephen Asamoah-Boateng and Andrews Awuni; Mr. Kofi Sakyiamah, Chief Director of the Ministry of Information, Nana Ohene Ntow, Government Spokesman on Finance and Economics, and Mr. Frank Agyekum, Government Spokesman on Governance.

The minister further suggested the need for the NMC to set up an audit circulation bureau for proper documentation of circulation figures of the various newspapers in the country.

He noted that the exact figures of newspapers circulation in the country is not known and that the setting up of the bureau and the publication of its findings quarterly will help in this regard.

He was delighted about the massive transformation that the company has undergone and the content of the Daily Graphic.

Nana Akomea said the Daily Graphic, the company’s flagship, has exhibited a high degree of fairness and objectivity by opening up its pages to all kinds of opinions.

He expressed concern about the lack of a paper industry in the country because of its importance to the print media, since about 60 to 70 percent of newspaper production depends on newsprint.

The Managing Director of GCGL, Mr. Berifi Apenteng, said the company is undergoing a restructuring process to enable it to become more efficient, meet challenges and position itself in the global market. He said the company is, therefore, working on a five-year strategic plan to guide it in its endeavours.

He said the Graphic Packaging Limited, a subsidiary of the GCGL, has also undergone a recapitalisation exercise and said nearly $2 million has been invested to make it more viable.

Source: Daily Graphic