IBA lifts Prime TV ban

THE Independent Broadcasting Authority says it is dismayed by certain sectors of society that criticised its decision to suspend Prime Television without reaching out to them to fully understand the breaches of the law that led to the suspension of the station.

However, the IBA has lifted the suspension of Prime Television with immediate effect.

IBA board secretary Josephine Mapoma said this follows a successful appeal that the station made to information and broadcasting services minister Dora Siliya.

But Mapoma said that the authority was disappointed with Prime Television management in the manner they conducted themselves following the suspension of the station earlier this month.

She said the station continued to broadcast for further five hours after receiving and acknowledging the letter of suspension.

Mapoma said the IBA has directed the station to execute its important role responsibly to avoid breaching the IBA Act and other regulations.

She said the lifting of Prime TV’s broadcasting licence had been done six days ahead of the expiry of the 30-day suspension.

On March 4, the IBA board suspended Prime Television broadcasting licence for 30 days after “routine monitoring” of the station’s content revealed that the station had breached IBA Act and the “standard operating procedure” through unbalanced coverage, broadcasting of opinionated news, airing of content/material likely to incite violence and use of derogatory language.

Mapoma said during the suspension period, the authority directed the station to undertake training of its reporters in basic journalism, ethics and news script writing.

She said the IBA was pleased that Prime Television conducted the training.

“In addition, the station invited the authority to train the reporters on the mandate of the Independent Broadcasting Authority and other relevant sections of the IBA Act,” Mapoma said.

She said in lifting the suspension, Prime Television has been tasked to execute the engagement of experts as news analysts and ensure that analysis is based on objectivity, facts and use of appropriate language.

Mapoma said the station should avoid all non-compliance issues raised by the authority in the compliance charge sent to the station.

She said the station had been told to ensure that individuals and institutions that are subjects of any topic of discussion or news are given an opportunity to respond by making attempts to invite or contact them.

Mapoma said the station was directed to adhere to all broadcasting laws, regulations and guidelines.

She said IBA had an open door policy and the public was free to make any enquiries or seek clarity whenever in doubt.

Source: The Mast

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