The Independent Broadcasting Authority has lifted the suspension of Prime Television with immediate effect, following a successful appeal the station made to the Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services Dora Siliya.
The lifting of Prime TV’s broadcasting Licence has been done six days ahead of the expiry of the 30 day suspension.
On 4th March, 2019, the Board of the Independent broadcasting Authority suspended Prime Television 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.
During the suspension period, the Authority directed the Station to undertake training of their reporters in basic journalism, ethics and news script writing.
IBA Secretary Josephine Mapoma said the Authority is pleased to note that Prime television conducted the training and in addition the Station invited the Authority to train the reporters on its mandate and other relevant sections of the IBA Act.
Ms. Mapoma said in lifting the suspension, Prime Television has been tasked to engage experts as news analysts and ensure that analysis is based on objectivity, facts and use of appropriate language.
She said the station has also been tasked to avoid all non-compliance issues raised by the Authority in the compliance charge sent to the Station, 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 and adhere to all broadcasting laws, regulations and guidelines.
Ms. Mapoma however expressed disappointment with Prime Television management in the manner they conducted themselves following the suspension of the Station as they continued to broadcast for a further five hours after receiving and acknowledging the letter of suspension.
She directed the Station to execute its important role responsibly to avoid breaching the IBA Act and other regulations.
Ms. Mapoma has reminded the public that the IBA open-door policy and they are free to make any enquiries or seek clarity whenever in doubt.
She said the IBA was 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.
Ms. Mapoma said the Board remains committed to applying the IBA Act fairly to all licensees, in line with their Vision, which is to be an effective and efficient Regulator.