Guinea’s media regulatory body, Haute Autorité de la Communication (HAC) has asked all public and private radio stations to stop all phone-in programmes during the period of the electioneering campaign in the run-up to the presidential election of October 11, 2015.
In a release issued on September 7, 2015, the HAC also banned private radio stations in the country from announcing the results of the election before Guinea’s Independent National Electoral Commission (Commission électorale Nationale Indépendante-CENI)
The MFWA’s correspondent in Guinea reported that sections of the Guinean media have condemned the directive. At their extraordinary session held on September 10, founders of radio stations who are members of the Guinean Union of Free Radio and Television Stations (Union des radios et télévisions libres de Guinée – l’Urtelgui) rejected the directive, describing it as “illegal and restrictive.”
“We disregard this order which has no basis.” Sanou Kerfalla Cissé, the President of Urtelgui has said. “I am only requesting journalists to strictly comply with the ethical rules in the discharge of their duties.”
The MFWA is concerned at this trend, as this is the second time this year that a regulatory body in West Africa has banned phone-in segments in radio and television programmes. In May 2015, the media regulatory body in Burkina Faso, Conseil Supérieur de la Communication (CSC), suspended live phone-in segments on radio and television stations for three months claiming that it had observed “numerous blunders” in such live interactive segments. The CSC also cited what they called the need to “ensure a peaceful climate to promote social cohesion.”