29 September 2017

West Africa: Pro-Opposition Radio Station Shut Down for Non-Compliance

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press release

The National Communications Authority, (NCA) the telecommunications and radio frequency licensing body in Ghana has shut down Montie, FM, based in the capital Accra for failure to pay its licence fees.

The NCA issued a letter dated September 27 to the Management of Montie FM informing them of revocation of the station's licence.

The station, which tows an editorial line favourable to the main opposition party, National democratic Congress NDC, has been off air since the morning of September 28.

According to The National Pen newspaper, which was among the first outlets to break the news, a sister radio station, Radio Gold, is also likely to be shut down for similar reasons. Both Montie FM and Radio Gold belong to Network Broadcasting Limited.

The absence of Montie FM will be greatly felt not only by the station's listeners but also by individuals and organisations who appreciate media diversity and pluralism in Ghana. One such person is Ken Kuranchie, Managing Editor of the Searchlight newspaper and member of the National Media Commission, the media regulator in Ghana.

"If you listen to Montie FM, it adds a lot of colour to our political space, even though I disagree vehemently with some of the positions of that station, I believe they should be allowed to be on air so far as they meet their statutory obligations," the senior journalist told a ClassFMonline.com, the online portal of Class FM, based in Accra.

The MFWA is equally concerned about the closure of Montie FM, as it denies a section of the population their source of information which they find more credible. It is a regrettable irony for a radio station to be closed on a day set aside to highlight the importance of universal access to information. We therefore urge the Management of the station to approach the NCA to resolve the issues which have led to the shutdown.

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