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The National Media Commission has told the  Public Accounts Committee that it is not ready to monitor the media landscape ahead of the 2020 elections.

According to the Executive Secretary of the Commission, George Sarpong, the Commission currently does not have the required technological support to track real-time intemperate language on the airwaves.

Speaking during the committee’s hearing on Friday, September 11, 2020, Mr. Sarpong explained that the commission was now finalising a new system for monitoring.

“We do not have the resources and the capacity to be able to monitor election 2020. So we are working towards alternative approaches to regulate systems that can still help us make some necessary interventions.”

He said work had been completed on a system that enables them to monitor media “broadly and better than we had previously done.”

This system will also have room for citizen contributions.

“We are building an integrated system that enables crowdsourcing and also citizens to input into the process,” Mr. Sarpong said.

The information provided by citizens can be provided from the source because the new system “allows for incidents to be logged and time and location stamped.”

“So, that can also help us address questions of fake news and disinformation,” Mr. Sarpong added.

He noted further that the operations of election observers like the Coalition of Domestic Election Observers (CODEO) could be boosted by this new system.

“It is something that international monitors like CODEO and the rest can also benefit from because you can give them real-time information on what is happening at every polling station.”

The commission’s mandate is to maintain journalistic standards on mass media with investigations, mediation and settlement of complaints made against or by the press or other mass media.

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