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Akufo-Addo directs Minister to suspend GBC’s channels reduction

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has directed the Minister of Communications, Mrs Ursula Owusu-Ekuful to suspend her directive to the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC) to suspend three of its six channels on the DTT.

A press statement dated July 23, 2020, signed and issued by the Director of Communications at the Presidency, Mr Eugene Arhin said the Minister has been directed “to suspend the implementation of the directives given to the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC) in connection with the reduction of GBC’s channels on the Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) platform, pending further consultation with stakeholders.

The National Media Commission (NMC) had described the directive by the Minister as a move that undermines the 1992 Constitution.

In a statement signed by its Chairman, Mr Yaw Boadu-Ayeboafoh, the commission said the directive by the minister was a form of political control which hindered media houses from adequately serving their purpose as stipulated by the 1992 Constitution.

In a letter addressed to the Director-General of the GBC dated June 26, 2020, the Minister of Communications, Mrs Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, directed the GBC to reduce its six operating digital television channels to three.

The directive, which was to be implemented within 60 days was to ensure that there is space on the National Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) platform which is currently at full capacity with 40 operating channels.

Currently, GBC, which is the state broadcaster operates six of those 40 digital channels, namely; GTV Sports+ (a channel for sports), GBC 24 (a 24-hour news TV channel) and GTV Life (a religion and culture channel), GTV Govern (a governance channel), Obonu TV (a channel for the people of Greater Accra) and Ghana Learning Television (a channel established for tutoring JHS and SHS students during the COVID-19 pandemic).

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