The Ghana Journalists Association (GJA), is against the National Communications Authority’s sanctioning of 131 radio stations for various offenses including operating with expired licenses.
The Association’s President, Roland Affail Monney, intimated that the NCA was essentially hounding some of the affected companies out of business.
34 of the sanctioned stations had their licenses revoked because their authorizations had expired and were operating illegally.
Other affected stations have been fined and given 30 days to settle their indebtedness. Radio Gold and Atlantis Radio picked up the heftiest fines with GHc 61,330,000 and GHc 60,350,000 respectively.
In all, the fines build up about GHc1.18 billion for stations cutting across all regions of the country.
The sanctions have been criticized as being too harsh by the Minority in Parliament, claiming that they amount to an attempt to monetize freedom of expression.
Mr. Monney, who was speaking a day after he was re-elected at the GJA elections on The Big Issue, said dealing with the NCA’s sanctions was “one major assignment our new administration is going to tackle with urgent promptitude.”
“… we have a responsibility to rally to the defense of our members and even non-members when they find themselves in such unfortunate situations.”
In this regard, the GJA is speaking with lawyers and a legal team “to put out a proposal and defense to help address this issue so we have agreed that by Monday, we’ll make our voice heard on this matter.”
“We are against any attempt to hound any media house or any media practitioner out of operations through the imposition of fines or any other means. It is something we frown upon and something we shall resist,” the GJA President asserted.
“I believe this is something we can dialogue with the NCA in order to ensure that those media houses that are affected will have the freedom to operate once again,” he added.