SOME educational institutions, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and individuals in the Brong Ahafo Region have expressed displeasure about the way Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC) in the region is treating them.
They allege that the GBC charge them for social events they organise.
According to them, in recent times, whenever they organised events or activities which were for the benefit of the larger society, they were asked to pay monies ranging from GH¢400 to GH¢1,500.
According to them, enquiries from their colleagues and partners from other regions of the country indicated that GBC did not charge them whenever they organised social functions.
They, therefore, appealed to the GBC management and board, the Ministry of Information and the National Media Commission (NMC) to check what they considered a departure from GBC’s role of doing developmental journalism.
According to the Junior Assistant Registrar in-charge of Public Relations of Catholic University College of Ghana, Mr Charles Alex Cosmos, the GBC charged the university GH¢1,000 for covering its matriculation.
He said the university considered the charge unusual, and therefore did not pay and the Ghana Television (GTV) did not turn up for the programme.
An official of the Wenchi Campus of Methodist University College of Ghana, also told the Daily Graphic that the management of the university were asked to pay GH¢500 for coverage when the university was taking over property from BAT to establish a nurses’ training college (NTC).
A research student and an officer in-charge of livestock at the Sunyani Municipal MOFA office, Mr Edward Kwame Awenseba, said he was shocked when the GBC gave him an invoice of GH¢700 to pay for the coverage of his research findings.
Mr Awenseba said his project which was supervised by the University of Cape Coast, was aimed at introducing new technology to small ruminant farmers on how to keep their livestock in confined areas instead of allowing them free-range grazing.
He said as a result of the money factor introduced by the GBC, small livestock farmers across the country had been denied the opportunity to learn the new technology, adding that “even TV3, a private station, came to cover the event without charging any money.”
The officer in charge of Disease Control at the Sunyani Municipal Health Directorate, Mr Samuel Addo, said in a recent National Measles Immunisation Programme, the GHS approached the GBC in Sunyani and other private radio stations in Brong Ahafo to help them propagate the message to the people for massive participation, but GBC gave them an invoice of GH¢546.25 to be paid for the coverage, but surprisingly private media houses like Dinpa FM and Sky FM covered the event for free.
Mr John Abaa of ActionAid in Sunyani said the NGO invited GBC for the 2010 Annual Regional Girls’ Leadership Conference from November 3 to 6, 2010 but GBC demanded GH¢1,500 before covering the programme.
The Chairman of the Munufie Kese Festival Planning Committee, Mr George Adjei Henneh said the GBC charged GH¢800 for coverage of the festival.
He said initially when he sent the letter for coverage, GBC did not say anything about money but later when he sent a member of the committee to follow up on the letter, he was told by the Business Division of the corporation to pay GH¢800.
Mr Henneh said when the emissary expressed surprise about the charge, he was told that it was a new directive.
He said the chiefs and people of Japekrom were highly disappointed about GBC’s treatment, stressing that in the past, they only provided vehicle to convey the news team to and from Japekrom for the festival.
When the Daily Graphic contacted the Regional Director of GBC, Madam Eunice Obeng Yeboah on the allegations, she said it was a policy directive by the management of GBC to charge for all social activities that had commercial elements in them.
When asked to give an example of social activities with commercial elements in them, Madam Obeng Yeboah could not provide one, but only said “we have been directed to charge to meet operation cost.”