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Political Ownership of Media Negatively Affects Ghana’s Democracy, Says MFWA Boss

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Media ownership by politicians is negatively impacting Ghana’s democratic credentials, says Executive Director of the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA), Sulemana Braimah.

In an interview on Adom FM’s morning show, Braimah stated that politicians owning radio and TV stations are using the platform to promote the agenda of their political parties rather than focusing on national interest. He cited some radio and television stations owned by politicians of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), adding that such ownership is a recipe for disaster.

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Braimah further expressed concern about the National Communications Authority’s (NCA) distribution of frequencies to politicians “like bread,” which he claims is impeding Ghana’s democracy. He criticized the NCA for serving political cronies instead of the country’s interest, and urged the authority to act in the nation’s interest. He expressed his delight in some few media houses, such as the Multimedia Group, which remain neutral and serve the interest of the nation.

Politicians in Ghana have often justified owning radio stations in their respective constituencies, using Article 162 of the 1992 Constitution, which does not discriminate against media ownership. However, Braimah has stated that the ownership of political radio and TV stations is not journalism but political propaganda serving the parties.

In conclusion, Braimah called for the NCA to ensure that the distribution of frequencies is fair and unbiased, with citizens’ interests at the forefront. He also urged politicians to allow for independent media ownership to thrive, which is vital for the growth of Ghana’s democracy.

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