Burkina Faso ALERT: Media regulatory body suspends live phone-in segments on radio and television

The media regulatory body in Burkina Faso, Conseil Supérieur de la Communication (CSC), has suspended live phone-in segments on radio and television stations for the next three months.

 The MFWA’s correspondent reported that the CSC said its decision follows numerous blunders observed in the conduct and content of live interactive segments, despite of efforts to sensitize programme hosts and the general public.

“This measure has already irked media moguls and the people who consider it as a restriction of the freedom of expression and a setback for democracy in Burkina Faso,” the correspondent said.

According to the May 7, 2015, communiqué announcing the suspension, it does not apply to health, recreational, romantic and cultural programmes.

The CSC acknowledged that “the broadcast of live phone-in segments, if well managed, constitute a platform for the promotion of the opinions of the citizenry as well as the sensitization and education of the general public with regard to their participation in the nation-building effort.”

However, “[the CSC] is particularly motivated by the concern to ensure a peaceful climate to promote social cohesion in this sensitive period in our country,”  said the legal adviser of the CSC, Louis Modeste Ouedraogo.

This suspension applies to the whole country, and offenders run the risk of punishment in accordance with the existing laws.

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