The Independent Broadcasting Authority (IBA) has suspended independent TV station Prime TV for ‘exhibiting unprofessional elements in its broadcasting through unbalanced coverage, opinionated news, material likely to incite violence and use of derogatory language.’
IBA Board Secretary Josephine Mapoma says that during the suspension the station is expected to conduct in-house training on basic journalism ethics and news writing.
Ms. Mapoma said Prime Television has been broadcasting through unbalanced coverage, opinionated news, material likely to incite violence and use of derogatory language.
She was speaking at a press briefing in Lusaka on Monday morning.
“Further to your hearing held on 1st March, 2019, the Board at its 16th Board Meeting resolved to suspend your license with immediate effect for 30 days. During the suspension period, the station is expected to conduct in-house training in basic journalism and news script writing,” stated Ms. Mapoma in a letter to Prime TV proprietor Gerald Shawa.
And IBA Board Chairperson Chanda Kasolo who is also Ministry of Information Permanent Secretary says the decision to suspend Prime TV was made after thorough consultations and engagement with stakeholders.He said there was no political interference involved and the decision comes after thorough consultations and engagement with other stakeholders.
Mr Kasolo said if there was any interference, the noble thing he could have done was to resign and not allow to be used by anyone.
IBA has also issued 22 radio licences, suspended two including Prime TV and Valley FM and revoked another two licences of Ngoma and Kafue radio stations.
Valley FM Radio License of Nyimba is suspended for 60 days due to unprofessional conduct.The station is said to have failed to balance and moderate a discussion program and has during the suspension period been directed to conduct in house training for management and engage trained Journalists.
The radio licenses for Ngoma station of Luanshya and Kafue radio stations were revoked for non-payment of license fees.
Kafue Radio station license was also revoked because it was off air most of the time and when they were on air, had no content but played music throughout.