Govt urges radio stations to avoid inciting hatred

Government has advised radio stations to avoid programmes that can incite violence and hatred.

Minister of Information and Communications Technology Henry Mussa made the remarks on Wednesday, February 13 during commemoration of World Radio Day.

Mussa said irresponsible journalism on radio stations is very dangerous and must be avoided at all the time.

“Government expects radio stations to have broadcasts that provide a platform for dialogue and democratic debate over issues. We call upon radio stations to have programmes that build tolerance and bring people together.

“The need for professionalism on radio stations cannot be overemphasized especially now that the country is going towards tripartite elections in May. We urge the media to desist the temptation of turning radio stations into battle fields for politicians. Remain professional,” he said.

The minister also reiterated government’s commitment to ensure that the media and in particular, radios, play their role in a free environment so that human rights and fundamental freedoms, especially freedom of expression are promoted.

“Government supports free, independent pluralistic media through all transmission platforms including community radios,” Mussa said.

Mussa then hailed radio as a mass media that reaches the widest audience in the world. He said radio is specifically suited to reach remote communities and vulnerable people with disabilities, women, youth and those facing poverty.

On January 14 2013, the United Nations General Assembly formally endorsed United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation’s (UNESCO) proclamation of World Radio Day on February 13, the day the UN Radio was established in 1946.

The day was set aside to among others raise greater awareness among the public and the media of the importance of radio; to encourage decision makers to establish and provide access to information through radio; as well as to enhance networking and international cooperation among broadcasters.

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