In view of the numerous failed attempts in mobilizing TV licenses fee from Ghanaians, the Director-General of the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC), Professor Amin Alhassan has proposed to government to introduce a media tax.
According to Professor Amin Alhassan, since the state broadcaster has been struggling to collect TV license fee mostly due to the unwillingness of Ghanaians to honour this responsibility, the surest way out is to introduce a media tax to replace the TV license regime.
The Director-General who was speaking at a media forum organized by the Ministry for Parliamentary Affairs in Accra expressed that one surest way to ensure a successful and effective public broadcast is to institute a media tax.
To him, such a tax can help to sustain the public service broadcast which has proven to be more reliable across the world.
“Research has consistently demonstrated that when it comes to reliability or confidence in the media public service broadcasters across the world stand out. A recent study found out that in Germany when public broadcasting is shut down their journalism will go down. What does that tell?,” the Director-General of the State Broadcaster noted.
He again cited that the strong state broadcasting in countries such as Britain, Germany among others is as a result of the agreement by the citizens to pay a certain amount of tax towards the maintenance and management of the public broadcaster.
“That every German agreed to pay a certain amount of tax towards keeping public service broadcaster alive, every British agrees, for the Americans it is part of their federal votes,” he added.
He therefore urged government to begin a conversation on how best a media tax can be introduced in order to sustain to keep GBC out of competition with the private media but focused on delivering public service.
He explained that “what it tells us is that we have to, in this country, agree that there must be a clear conversation of asking us what type pf public service broadcasting system do you want? Do you want one that is competing for advertising with the private media or you want one that will singularly be focused on delivering on public service?.”