News / Africa

Staff Questions Decision to Take Liberia’s Radio Veritas off Air

The Catholic Media Center in Monrovia, LiberiaThe Catholic Media Center in Monrovia, Liberia
x
The Catholic Media Center in Monrovia, Liberia
The Catholic Media Center in Monrovia, Liberia
James Butty
The Roman Catholic Archbishop of Monrovia said the shutdown of the church-run Radio Veritas has nothing to do with any criticism of the government.

The Most Reverend Lewis Ziegler said the station has experienced equipment problems and the church wants to shut it down until it purchases new hardware. 

He would not say, however, when the station would be back on the air since it has to find money for the new equipment. 

“The station has had no problem with the government.  The station was not shut down.  Radio Veritas had been operating on old equipment bought a few years back from the [United] States.  We have spent a lot of money on them, but they keep breaking down.  Last Tuesday, the station went off the air because a part had spoiled, not because the station was critical of government that it was shut down.  There was [a] technical breakdown in the station,” he said.

Ziegler would not say when the station would be back on the air because, he said, the church has to look for the money to buy new equipment.

“At the moment, it’s not the question of correcting [repairing the broken hardware].  It is the question of really getting something better that will keep us going.  And, because I do not have the cash, I cannot tell how long it will take me.  But, the station will be opened very soon,” the archbishop said.

Butty interview with Ziegler
Butty interview with Ziegleri
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X

But, acting radio manager Ade Wede Kekuleh said the archbishop signed a news release informing the staff that the station had been acting outside the scope of its license.

“They sent a [news] release to institutions signed by him [the archbishop], that was on no letterhead, and that was one of the reasons he gave that the institution had been acting outside of its scope and they had come under fire for it.  So, the archbishop, he really cannot say that because they did their releases.  They know exactly what they wrote.  That’s why I keep saying, ‘I wonder when did the Catholic Church realize that we had been acting outside the scope of our license,’” she said.

Kekuleh said she is worried because, as much as she knows, from the day Radio Veritas (which means truth in Latin) was established in July of 1997, the station has lived up to its name by giving credible and unbiased news.

Butty interview with Kekuleh
Butty interview with Kekulehi
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X

“Another thing they said is that, in 1996, they [Veritas staff] stepped on toes and the radio got burnt. So, what we are concluding is that we did step on toes and that is why they have decided to shut down the station,” Kekuleh said.

She said the staff has been locked out of the station and the archbishop has promised to pay them off by the end of this month.

“What they are doing now is severing whatever contracts they may have had with the employees, and then if they ever start again, those who are still interested to work with the radio station will have to reapply,” Kekuleh said.

Ziegler said it was not true that the employees had been locked out of the station.

Kekuleh said she and the staff believe there is more to the story than what the church is telling.  But, she said her only interest is to ensure that her staff is paid off and well.

You May Like

US, Brazil's Climate-Change Plan: More Renewables, Less Deforestation

Officials say joint initiative on climate change will allow Brazil, United States to strengthen and accelerate cooperation on issues ranging from land use to clean energy More

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Reporting from Somali capital for past decade, Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal has been working at one of Mogadishu's leading radio stations covering parliament More

After Nearly a Century, Voodoo Opera Rises Again

Opera centers on character named Lolo, a Louisiana plantation worker and Voodoo priestess More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: LiberianGirl from: Monrovia
October 19, 2012 10:24 AM
All the churches are now in cahoot with the Ellen Johnson Sirleaf led government. The church too is suppressing PRESS FREEDOM in Liberia and REPRESSING victims of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and Mr. Charles Taylor's rebel war for her to be president of Liberia. This is the time for all journalists with moral conscience to use the pen and paper to WRITE the ills of the society. Although the Radio has shutdown but your VOICES for the people are not shutdown. God will deal with socalled BISHOP in due time.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishui
X
Abdulaziz Billow
June 30, 2015 2:16 PM
Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video US Gay Marriage Ruling Yields Real-life Impact

Friday’s landmark Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage throughout the United States is an outcome few thought possible just years ago, and shows a nation that increasingly tolerates and even celebrates the hopes and aspirations of gay people. VOA’s Michael Bowman spoke to a same-sex couple that will benefit from the high court ruling, and to a Christian scholar who is apprehensive about its potential consequences for America’s faith community.
Video

Video Syrians Flee IS Advance in Hasaka

The Syrian government said Monday it has taken back one of several districts in Hasaka overrun by Islamic State militants. But continued fighting elsewhere in the northern city has forced thousands of civilians from their homes. In this report narrated by Bill Rodgers, VOA Kurdish Service reporter Zana Omer describes the scene in Amouda, where some of the displaced are taking refuge.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video S. Korea Christians Protest Gay Rights Festival

The U.S. Supreme Court decision mandating marriage equality nationwide has energized gay rights supporters around the world. Gay rights remain a highly contentious issue in a key U.S. ally, South Korea, where police did a deft job Sunday of preventing potential clashes between Christian protesters and gay activists. Kurt Achin reports from Seoul.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Nubians in Kenya Face Land Challenges

East Africa's ethnic Nubians have a rich cultural history that dates back thousands of years, but in Kenya they are facing hardships, including the loss of lands they have lived on for generations. They say the government has reneged on its pledge to award them title deeds for the plots. VOA's Lenny Ruvaga reports.
Video

Video Syrian Refugees Return to Tal Abyad

Syrian refugees in Turkey confirm they left their hometown of Tal Abyad because of intense fighting and coalition airstrikes, not because Kurdish fighters were engaged in ethnic cleansing, as some Turkish officials charged. VOA Kurdish Service reporter Zana Omer, in Tal Abyad, finds that civilians coming back to the town agree, as we hear in this report narrated by Roger Wilkison.
Video

Video Military Experts Question New Russian Tank Capabilities

Russia has been showing off its new tank design – the Armata T-14. Designers claim it is 20 years ahead of current Western designs - and driving it feels like playing a computer game. But military analysts question those assertions, and warn the cost could be too heavy a burden for Russia’s struggling economy. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.
Video

Video In Syrian Crisis, Social Media Offer Small Comforts

Za’atari, a makeshift city in Jordan, may be the only Syrian refugee camp to tweet its activities, in an effort to keep donors motivated as the war in Syria intensifies and the humanitarian crisis deepens. Inside the camp, families say mobile phone applications help hold together families that are physically torn apart. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.

VOA Blogs