The Chairman of the Classification Committee under the National Film Authority, Socrate Safo, has announced that the Authority is set to enforce the Classification of Content law on all television stations in the country from May 1st.
This implies that television stations that do not present their content for classification by the committee could face the law beginning 1st May,2021.
Socrate Safo shared that for the last one year, TV stations have been given a leeway while the committee engaged with the Ghana Independent Broadcasters Association (GIBA).
He thus noted that TV stations still have till May 1st to submit their content for review and classification.
He made this known in an interview with Happy FM’s Don Prah on the ‘Epa Hoa Daben’ show, when he stated: “We have given a one-year grace period and we are expecting the TV stations to even classify their content. As I speak to you, no TV station has approached us for the classification. So, I am wondering that as at 1st May which is about one month away, what are they going to show? Well, it is possible that within a week, they can bring it for us to classify.
It is not in our interest to drag anyone to court over classification. Our interest is to make sure that there will be sanity on our TV stations”.
Socrate was of the view that the absence of classification of content on our TV stations have brought about social vices among the youth in our country.
He believed that the contents on our TV no doubt contributed to the murder of an eleven-year-old boy by two teenagers at Kasoa. According to him, the lack of control in the media is deeply affecting our society.
Following the recent murder of the 11-year-old boy by his friends for alleged money rituals,Ghanaians especially social media users have called on the Government to place a ban on ‘Mallams’ and other money ritualists from appearing and advertising their products on television stations and radio.
Meanwhile, an act of parliament assented by Parliament on December 16th 2016 allows for the creation of a Film Classification Committee that is mandated to preview and classify any feature film, documentary or advert that is intended for exhibition.
Part of Section 19 of the Act states,” Classification of film (1) The Film Classification Committee shall preview and classify any feature film, documentary and advert that is intended for exhibition. (2) A right owner, licensee or assignee who desires to exhibit a film shall submit the film to the Film Classification Committee for examination and classification at least twenty-one days before the intended exhibition. (3) The Film Classification Committee shall within fourteen working days after receipt of a film, preview it and determine whether it is suitable for exhibition”.
By: Alberta Dorcas N D Armah