If you want porn go to the internet, not live TV- Esther Armah charges

Ghana News

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Ace Journalist Esther Armah has lambasted owners of TV stations gleefully showing pornographic movies on free-to air channels.

The tough talking playwright says business men who are championing the airing of pornography for purely monetary gains cannot be invited to make a decision about morality.

The money will always hold sway over morality, she argued on Ghana Connect programme on Joy FM, Friday.

She was discussing the infamous pornography on air controversy currently gaining traction in the media space.

Two broadcasters, Messrs Tommy-Annan Forson and James Kwasi Oberko, this week filed a complaint against three television stations TV XYZ, Ice TV and Thunder TV for showing pornographic materials on their channels.

The two presented their complaint to the National Media Commission and the Ministry of Information.

The two complainant argued, the pornographic material are not only criminal but lowering the standards of media practice in Ghana.

According to them, it is against the broadcasting standards for television stations to show porn materials irrespective of what time they are shown.

“We have realized that these TV stations are showing things that are against the media commission’s standards and as concerned citizens, we thought it wise to make a complaint to the right authorities, to prompt them to take the necessary actions,” Oberko said.

However the NMC does not appear to have the power to deal with the petition.

In a terse response to the complaint filed by the two broadcasters, the Executive secretary of the Commission, George Sarpong, said media houses in the country cannot be sanctioned considering the regulatory regime currently in place.

“As at now, there is nothing we can do within the regulatory framework that we have. That would have happened under the LI 224 but for now there is very little one can do in terms of sanctions” against the three television stations, Mr Sarpong is quoted as saying.

The LI 224 was to ensure content regulation by the NMC but it was shot down by the Supreme Court after GIBA and others proceeded to court to challenge its constitutionality.

Mr Sarpong, said without a law on content regulation, there is very little the NMC can do.

But when the issue came up for discussion on Joy FM’s Ghana Connect, Esther Armah said the NMC cannot throw its finger in the air over the serious issue of pornography.

“The NMC must have some backbone,” she stated, adding pornography in every shape or form is criminal under Section 282 of the Criminal Code.

She said instead of the NMC yawning over content regulation it should be looking at the criminal code and stopping the pornography on live television.

“If you want pornography, go to the internet. It should not be on air at any time,” she said.