The Ghana Broadcasting Corporation is eighty-five years today. On July 31st, 1935 Broadcasting began in Ghana from a wired relay station opened in Accra.
The brain behind the introduction of broadcasting in Ghana, was the then Governor of the Gold Coast, Sir Arnold Hodson, affectionately known as the “Sunshine Governor”.
Transmission was received through a Rediffusion Box.
By 1700GMT on that historic day, gramophone records comprising of martial and light music were relayed and exactly 1745GMT the voice of Sir Arnold Hodson came through to break the suspense with this explicit message:
“One of the main reasons for introducing the Relay Service is to bring News, Entertainment and Music into the homes of all and sundry. This will bring to an end the barriers of isolation and ignorance in the path of progress and also to enable the people of Gold Coast to improve on their very rich cultural music”.
The Broadcasting Service was code-named Radio “ZOY”. It was manned by eight technicians and housed on 9th Road near the Ridge Police Station in Accra.
Broadcasting first begun in four Ghanaian languages namely Fanti, Twi, Ga, Ewe and Hausa.
Radio “ZOY” has grown to present Ghana Broadcasting Corporation with regional FM stations, community Radio stations, digital television channels, ONLINE and Training Colleges. It still remains the leading broadcasting station with a nationwide reach and a mandate to do public broadcasting.
Ghana Broadcasting Corporation for the past 85 years has been committed to providing credible, reliable and quality Broadcasting and Communication Services. It has promoted National consciousness, programs, loyalty, integrity, self-reliance and provided strong sense of national identity. It has been guided by a high standard of professionalism, objectivity, accuracy, balance and excellence.
Speaking on GBC Uniiq breakfast drive this morning, the Director General, Professor Amin Alhassan, said inspite of its successes, the Corporation still faces many challenges which cannot be overcome by management alone.
Key among these challenges are lack of equipment and debts incurred over the past 10 years. According to him, the needs of the state broadcaster should not be an issue to be debated on.
Reacting to claims that the Corporation is politically tainted, Professor Amin Alhassan said the Corporation gives equal airtime to all political parties, as spelt out by the constitution.
He, however, said the Corporation also sells commercial airtime to parties who are interested in buying extra time for their activities.