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The National Media Commission has officially launched it rules and principles yesterday, 31st October, 2018 which are from hence, going to be used to regulate religious broadcast activities in the country. The National Media commission(NMC) explained that monitoring the activities of the various religions and their broadcast over the years have proved that there has been a total deviation from the standards, least expected of them. The event which took place in Accra saw the lives of Nana Kwasi Gyan Apenteng, the chairman of the NMC, Mr. Alexander Bannerman, Deputy Executive Secretary, Apostle Dr. Ofori –Kuragu, Pentecostal chair on the commission, Apostle Dr. Alfred Koduah, the media and other stakeholders. Nana Kwasi Gyan Apenteng, the Chairman of the National Media Commission addressing the Media yesterday said, the constitution provides for the right to freedom of worship which mandated many religious groups to reach their adherents and audiences through religious broadcast, but unfortunately these rights have been misused to satisfy the egos of their operators and to the worse, tarnishing the rights and sensibilities of other people, especially vulnerable people and children. ‘’We must be particularly concerned about the too many cases of children being abused as part of religious ceremonies that are broadcast to audiences across the nation. For example, there have been instances when children as young as seven have been made to “confess” to being witchcraft practitioners on television broadcast. The people who promote and encourage such practices seem oblivious to the long term effect of such practices on the children” he stressed. The Religious Broadcasting Guidelines committee, acknowledged the fact that some religious groups are doing very well to enlighten the mass audiences whiles others, mostly at night hours advertise their businesses, which include criminal activities such as money doubling and fraud. This it said abuses the constitutional guarantees of freedom of expression and protection of media freedom and independence. Nana Gyan later in his address added that, “the purpose of these guidelines is to improve the quality of religious broadcasting in our country and lead to a better understanding of religious practices in our country. We are not prescribing ways of worship for any religion; what we are doing is to set standards for the broadcasting of religious activities and, as we say, sanitize the airwaves.” In his conclusion, he called on the media to help promote the guidelines. “Dear friends, we urge all media houses, especially radio and TV stations to cooperate with us in promoting the guidelines.” He also thanked the committee that worked earnestly to bring the project into function. Apostle Abraham Ofori Kuragu who happens to be the Pentecostal Chair on the Commission and a Co-chair on the Religious Broadcasting Guidelines Committee told Destiny News that the intentions of the NMC after the launch of the guidelines is to organize symposiums, workshops and programs to educate the various stakeholders, media houses and the various religious bodies on the need for these regulations. He added that the Committee will sanction any media house that refuses to function without reference to these rules. Source: Destinyradioonline.com/ Emmanuel Nana Owusu
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