It is regrettable that news of the closure of some radio stations, notably, Radio Gold and Radio XYZ made the rounds on Thursday 9th May, 2019.
It is further regrettable that we have just a few days ago, observed World Press Freedom Day in this country. Notwithstanding the numerous dents on our conduct as a nation towards the freedom of the press following the murder of Ahmed Sualey of the Tiger Eye PI group, the harassments reportedly being meted out to Manasseh Azuri over an investigative piece, and the manner Anas Aremeyaw Anas was handled after his number 12 and subsequent production and publications, the day required to be observed to remind us of a certain good practice we aspire to attain.
This is the more reason why the move conducted by the National Communications Authority (NCA) to close down these radio stations, only affirms our disinterest in the full status of press freedom.
We are of the view that, should a more human-centred approach be used, this matter would have been resolved amicably.
Conducts of the nature, must not be seen to fall within a certain conspiracy of intimidation and harassment, which eventually mars the beauty of the democracy we have held high and nurtured for the past two and half decades.
We are of the firm believe that a proper collaboration and coordination between the radio stations on the one hand, and the NCA on the other, would have resolved this issue without the acrimony it attracted since the conduct was undertaken.
It must be emphasised that in so doing, the state recognises that to gain the status of a media that is free, does not simply guarantee the pleasure of the ruling government. It includes tolerance for opposing media houses that are simply and legitimately carrying out their business in a manner that does not endanger society.
We urge the NCA to extend a hand of cordiality to the affected radio stations and to provide them with the assistance required and restore service to enable them meet the demands of their customers.
Stephen Kwabena Attuh – Executive Director
Adomako Fred Williams – Deputy Executive Director
Addotey Mitchell – Executive Secretary
Joe Bright Nyarko
Journalist/Communication Researcher. Environment & Sustainability Advocate. Managing Editor of aptnewsghana.com, a non-profit news portal with bias towards environment and sustainability issues, rural development policies and gender & inequality.