Parliament has caution Ghanaians to guard against irresponsible public utterances on radio which has the tendency to derailed the country’s democratic gains.
According to the legislators, the public should rather use radio platforms to encourage healthy dialogue and create tolerance to build a monument of peace in the various spheres.
Nenyi George Andah, Deputy Minister of Communication in a statement to commemorate the 12th World Radio Day indicated that Ghana joins the entire UN system and nations around the world to observe the occasion.
The theme for this year’s World Radio Day celebration is: “Dialogue, tolerance and peace”.
According to Mr Andah, in celebrating world radio day, it is fundamental to see radio as a platform to promote effective dialogue and to improve civic participation in developmental and socio-economic discourse.
He said the influence of radio communication on the development of any nation far outweighs the comparative advantage of other media platforms.
He stated that the significant impact of radio is centred in the communication and information sphere in the country at large since its inception.
Mr Andah also noted that the main goal and focus of the country should be creating wholesome radio content that would better place the political, economic and cultural issues while heightening public participation on matters of national interest.
He said fortunately the country’s democratic tolerance offer freedom of speech, freedom of expression and other associated rights.
He said these rights place enormous responsibility on the people to safeguard and protect them, adding that this can only be possible with the help of radio and the media at large.
Mr Andah however stated that there have been countries that have been set ablaze through activities of radio network and journalists.
“In as much as we are all responsible for our public utterances, in the name of freedom of speech, we have a lot to lose if this wonderful mode of communication is not controlled to avert what has now become an albatross on our neck as a nation”.
He said today, it is no news to hear someone say that the first place to bear insults and defamatory is on radio.
He said this has caused many to lose trust in the operations of radio and that the growing age would tend to listen to a playlist on the mobile devices than to listen to the radio.
“I ask myself this question, what then does the future look like for radio?” he asked.
Mr Andah further stated that the new age of technology has made digital communication available at people’s convenience.
He said there is no doubt that with the inclusion of other communication platforms radio certainly is the platform that reaches more people than any other platform.
Mr Alhassan Suhuyini, Member of Parliament (MP) for Tamale North in his contribution called for the expansion of the media freedom in the country and work to check the excesses of media practitioners in the system.
He expressed concern about new development in the media landscape where corporate bodies setup media houses and because of the familiar considerations they have with these media house it becomes difficult for those media houses to check them when they are doing something which is wrong in the society.
He said the use of statutory control and licensing of the media is sometimes employed to stifled opposing views in the media.
Mr Alexander Abban, MP for Gomoa West in his contribution called for regular training for media practitioners and radio programme hosts to enable them discharge their duties well.
He expressed worry about radio phone-in programmes which are being used as platforms to insult and denigrate innocent people in the country.
Mr Ras Mubarak, MP for Kumbungu in his contribution expressed concern about the new threat to the use of radio by data manipulation, misinformation, fake news and partisan views articulated on radio discussions.
He stressed the need for the country to come out with the rules on how to regulate social media.
According to him a lot of the content on social media finds their way into the traditional media.
He explained that many of the views espouse on these social media platforms of the radio station are unregulated and many of the radio stations do not take responsibility for those comments.
Mr Mubarak therefore urged parliament to come out with a new law to sanitize the social media platforms of the radio stations.