Professor Kwame Karikari, a media consultant, has stated that due to the lack of clear rules and guidelines governing the operations of radio stations in the country, operators have resorted to all kinds of illegal activities that endanger the health of the people and distort the cultural values and ethics.
He explained that currently, some radio stations have resorted to allowing people to sell all kinds of medicine whose efficacy had not been verified by the authorities, while others used offensive language on their radio.
He was speaking at a maiden round-table discussion on “Media Ethics and Transparency in Frequency Allocation ” organised by the Graphic Communications Group Limited in collaboration with STAR Ghana in Kumasi.
He said radio represented the voice of everybody but placed in the care of a very few in society, (journalists and radio owners) and, therefore, urged those in charge to endeavour to always respect societal norms and be guided by the truth.
He, however, indicated that such guidelines for the regulations of radio should not be used to inhibit free speech and muffle the voice of Ghanaians.
Prof. Karikari expressed worry at the increasing rate at which the media was aiding some Ghanaians to sacrifice the truth, indicating that the truth was currently the most trampled upon virtue by teachers, politicians, pastors and the media.
He said the onus was therefore on the media to halt the canker.
He stated that even among thieves, they cherished truth and abhorred members who tell lies, therefore it was incumbent on Ghanaians to also demand the truth from the media.
“Ethics is a basic cultural norm,” and added that “truth telling is a universal virtue”, Prof. Karikari said in support of the admonition to the media.
Prof. Karikari told the gathering, that the liberalisation of the airwaves as well as free media space was fought for by the ordinary Ghanaian and advised that if the media practitioners continued to flout their own ethics and rules, the same people would agitate and call for the institution of a legal regime that would affect the practice
The Managing Director of the Graphic Communications Group Limited, Mr Kenneth Ashigbey, said the enemies facing the country currently were poverty, squalor, diseases and urged the media to fight them.
He urged the media to put its house in order so that they would have the moral right to hold politicians and other office holders accountable as the axiom says “he who comes to equity must come with clean hands”.
The forum was attended by academics, legal practitioners, owners of media houses, media practitioners and traditional rulers.
source : Graphic Online