Legal Environment

Laws, regulations, guidelines, and policies on media

The Article 21 of the 1992 Ghanaian Constitution provides: “All persons shall have the right to - freedom of speech and expression, which shall include freedom of the press and other media”. Article 162 (5) upholds the media’s role in keeping government accountable to the public.
After years of restricted access to the operation of media outlets, with the state providing the only sources for news, the Constitution also includes an article which prohibits the mandatory prior requirement of a license to establish or operate a newspaper, journal and other forms of media.

In Ghana, aside the chapters five and twelve of the Constitution and the Companies Act – which is concerned with the transparency of ownership data –, specific laws, regulations and guidelines and policies that mostly influence the media and its operations primarily include the following:

Policies

  • National Media Policy (NMC), 2000
  • National Telecommunications Policy (NTP), 2005
  • Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) Broadcasting Policy, 2016


Acts

  • Television Licensing Decree, 1966 (NLCD 89)
  • Ghana Broadcasting Corporation Decree, 1968 (NLCD 229)
  • Ghana Frequency Registration and Control Board Ghana Frequency Registration and Control Board SMC Decree, 1977 (SMCD 71)
  • Television Licensing (Amendment) Law, 1991 (PNDCL 257)
  • National Media Commission Act, 1993 (Act 449)
  • National Communications Authority Act, 2008 (Act 769)
  • Electronic Communications Act, 2008 (Act 775)
  • Broadcasting Bill, 2014 [not passed]


Regulations/Guidelines

  • Frequency Registration and Control Regulations, 1977 (L.I 1121)
  • Television Licensing Regulations, 1991 (L.I 1520)
  • Electronic Communications Regulations, 2011 (L.I 1991)
  • NMC Broadcasting Standards, 2000
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