MONROVIA-The Ministry of Information, Cultural Affairs and Tourism (MICAT) is dismayed over the increasing level of indecent broadcast, including vulgar and sexually explicit language, on the airwaves of the country by a number of radio stations and other media outlets.
A press release issued on Wednesday said.
Broadcasters and other news organizations are reminded that under the regulations for the issuance of permits to operate in the country, the ministry clearly frowns on the broadcast and publication of obscene contents to include, but not limited to, abusive and vulgar language, pornographic materials, inappropriate and deliberate false information (adverts) to the general public (including minors).
These are very serious journalistic ethical benchmarks in line with International best practice that every responsible media entity or journalist is obliged to observe
It warned that henceforth it will ensure that these fundamental, but cardinal ethical standards, are upheld by all broadcasting and other media outlets, without fear or favor, for the safeguard of public decency against prurient tendencies.
“Media outlets involved in such behavior will be publicly named and shamed at first instance, while those in repeated violation will face sterner regulatory actions,” the ministry stressed.
The Ministry is therefore warning all violators to take note as the new and enforced regulatory regime will entail the utilization of specific sanctions for breach of the guidelines.
“Journalists, disc jockeys and other on-air personalities ought to watch their language and audition the music and adverts they play on the radio. The Liberian listening, viewing and reading public deserve and crave for high quality media products, not the indecent, vulgar and obscene ones that have permeated the national airwaves for some time now,” MICAT noted.
MICAT said it will work with the Press Union of Liberia, the Liberia Telecommunications Authority, Ministries of Commerce, Health and other relevant agencies in order to enforce these measures.
The Ministry of Information stressed that the Government of Liberia remains committed to freedom of expression and an unfettered press, but wants the press to meet its side of the bargain.