Committee launch
Committee launch

He said the electronic media, a more intrusive communication tool, could offset the negative effect of the social media by correcting the wrong information put out there through the amplification of the truth on the airwaves, for all to hear.

Committee launch
Committee launch

Mr Sarpong who was responding to concerns raised at the launch of the Ashanti Region Media Advisory Committee in Kumasi on the recent statement by the Inspector General of Police (IGP), to ban all social media activities on Election Day, discounted claims and differed from widely-held views that social media can adversely affect the country’s peace.

The Executive Secretary said the social media which offered unimpeded access for the expression of ideas from everybody deepened democracy but had a very restrictive influence in the predominantly illiterate population as compared to the more intrusive and far-reaching nature of the electronic media.

This, he said, limited the social media’s threat as “megaphones of war”, since the illiterate majority could not access the social media.

Comparing the social media scenario with a gong-gong beater rallying people in a community to take arms for war, he said while a confrontation in the former scenario can lead to deadly consequences, the latter cannot because one can respond to a posted message anyhow without any “bloodshed”.

The issue has generated a heated national debate but Mr Sarpong was not very clear on his stance on the issue.

He thus called on the media to constantly monitor information on the social media with the view to bringing out the correct version to help educate the public to make informed decisions.

The Regional Media Advisory Committee, is mandated among other things to monitor and manage the media space to isolate cases of good performances for commendation whiles also dealing with infractions.

Additionally, the body would provide protection for journalists and ensure that they carried out their work in a safer environment, it would also offer an avenue for the filing of public complaints, all geared towards a successful and peaceful election in the year 2016.

It is chaired by Mr Paul Adu-Gyamfi, a former chairman of the NMC with other members as Professor Tsiri Agbenegah, Provost, College of health Sciences, Kwame Nkrumah university of Science and Technology (KNUST), Mr I.K Gyasi, a newspaper columnist and a former Headmaster of the T.I.Ahmadiyya Senior High School in Kumasi.

Mr Emmanuel Yeboah, Mr Jonathan Frimpong and Madam Ajoa Amankwa, are the rest.

The ceremony which was attended by the media in Ashanti, Members of the MAC, and the NMC was part of the project named “Improving media regulation in the Regions for Peaceful Election in 2016.

The project is receiving sponsorship from the Strengthening Transparency and Accountability and Responsiveness in Ghana (STAR-GHANA), a multi-donor pooled fund.

Ms Doris Yaa Dartey, member of the NMC said all tools of communications were potentially dangerous but urged media practitioners only to use it positively to benefit the nation.

By Elizabeth Kankam-Boadu, GNA

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