-Threatens To Shut Down Root FM
By: R. Joyclyn Wea
The Government of Liberia has threatened to shut down a local media outlet in Monrovia, Root FM owned and operated by businessman and politician Benoni Urey for allegedly using hate messages, profanities on its platform.
It can be recalled that Liberian Head of State, George Weah made a full commitment to member of the Liberian media that under his administration no media house will be shutdown, no journalist will be sent to jail unlawfully, beaten, arrested.
But, with this latest move by the Government through the Ministry of Information Cultural Affairs and Tourism (MICAT) seems to be a summersault of President George Weah commitment that no media institution would be shut down or journalist jailed because of publication.
Speaking Thursday, August 1, 2019, Deputy Minister of Press and Public Affairs at the Ministry of Information, Cultural, Affairs and Tourism (MICAT) said it has come to their attention expression of the individual of the FM station something he termed as unbecoming.
He noted that the station has continuously preached incitement and hate messages, defamation, and profanities among others against the government something that violate the ethic for media institutions operating in the country.
“I think people seem not to understand or may not have understood what the president said. The president did not say, that I will guide media houses and institutions against the law,” Eugene Fahngon.
He said while they remain committed to the declaration of the President to protect media institutions and professionals, President Weah did not guarantee the protection of any media institution or personality breaking the law and walk sky free.
According to Fahngon, aside from Root FM using provocative, the institution does not have a license and permit to operate in the country since according to him, Root FM authority had not renew their license since last 2018.
He alleged that as of December 31, 2018 root FM has never gone to renew her permit therefore it does not have a license to operate in the Country and does not have a permit and that the frequency it operates under was transferred from voice FM to LIB 24.
“In order to operate a radio station there is no shortcut, you cannot bypass it. You cannot get a license without getting a permit from this ministry and in order to get a frequency for a radio station you must have a license and at the end of the day, every year, we have rules and guidelines.”
He further mentioned that under the rule and guidelines for issuing media permit says “all permit are subject to renewal on an annual basis. Permit can be withdrawn for bridge of media ethics, the ethics the following profanities, definition, and false information among others.”
Fahngon stresses that only MICAT has the authority to issued, assigned final permit or recommend to the Liberia Telecommunication Authority to issued and signed final permit and to grant license.
“We have been very tolerance, as of “Many of you may say we are witch hunting, we are shutting down critical voices, but, Ma Mary paid for her market place Jalloh paid for his shop
He indicated while the President is working to ensure everyone in the media works in the interest of the Liberian people, anyone who is going to abuse their tolerance should be prepare for the consequences no matter what because it is the rule, law and they careless of what the press will write or report.
The New Republic Newspaper is an independent newspaper established in 2009 by a Liberian journalist, Alphonso Toweh with many years of experience for the key purpose of reporting a balanced coverage of events as well as promoting Liberia’s image locally and internationally.
Toweh has been working for Reuters News Agency as its correspondent since 1998 to present. In addition to that, he has served as correspondents for the following magazines: West Africa New African, Africa Week and African Observer.
More to that, he worked for Radio Deutche Welle radio in Germany, Radio Netherlands and contributed to CNN, BBC News hour, BBC TV as well as Africa Confidential and Sunday Times in London.
The paper has no political affiliation nor ethic lineage. The focus and primary commitment is to ensure the sovereignty of Liberia and unity for Africa. It seeks to foster human rights and freedom of the press.
The New Republic is a liberal paper dedicated to upholding the tenets of democracy. It believes that state can not only create the political, social, economic and cultural spirit, but also to ensure that all human beings, irrespective of any affiliation is able to achieve its highest human potentials.
The paper strives for free speech and equal opportunity for all. Importantly, it believes that the nation must intervene judiciously in the economic life, in order to minimise the adverse effects of free enterprise and ensure that less privileged people have reasonable and fair access to the basic necessities of life. By this, it would help reduce some level of threat.
New Republic brings huge commitment to its readers and offers the nation the type of media that will advocate for the people and nudge our nation on the path of development and social re-engineering