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

    Russian-Backed Offensive in Syria Pushes War to Tipping Point

    As threat to Aleppo and rebel forces grows, US plan to negotiate becomes less and less appealing for Syrian government, says one military analyst

    IS Runs Timber Smuggling Business in Afghanistan, Officials Say

    Government turning blind eye to smuggling, according to tribal leaders; Afghanistan's forest cover dropped by 50 percent in three decades, experts say

    Video White House Seeks $1.8 Billion to Combat Zika

    Obama administration says funding would 'support essential strategies to combat the virus' such as rapidly expanding mosquito control programs, accelerating vaccine research

    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.

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    'No Means No' Program Targets Sexual Violence in Kenyai
    X
    February 08, 2016 4:30 PM
    The organizers of an initiative to reduce and stop rape in the informal settlements around Kenya's capital say their program is having marked success. Girls are taking self-defense classes while the boys are learning how to protect the girls and respect them. Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi.
    Video

    Video 'No Means No' Program Targets Sexual Violence in Kenya

    The organizers of an initiative to reduce and stop rape in the informal settlements around Kenya's capital say their program is having marked success. Girls are taking self-defense classes while the boys are learning how to protect the girls and respect them. Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi.
    Video

    Video New Hampshire Voters Are Independent, Mindful of History

    Once every four years, the northeastern state of New Hampshire becomes the center of the U.S. political universe with its first-in-the-nation presidential primary. What's unusual about New Hampshire is how seriously the voters take their role and the responsibility of being among the first to weigh in on the candidates.
    Video

    Video Chocolate Lovers Get a Sweet History Lesson

    Observed in many countries around the world, Valentine’s Day is sometimes celebrated with chocolate festivals. But at a festival near Washington, the visitors experience a bit more than a sugar rush. They go on a sweet journey through history. VOA’s June Soh takes us to the festival.
    Video

    Video 'Smart' Bandages Could Heal Wounds More Quickly

    Simple bandages are usually seen as the first line of attack in healing small to moderate wounds and burns. But scientists say new synthetic materials with embedded microsensors could turn bandages into a much more valuable tool for emergency physicians. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Bhutanese Refugees in New Hampshire Closely Watching Primary Election

    They fled their country and lived in refugee camps in neighboring Nepal for decades before being resettled in the northeastern U.S. state of New Hampshire -- now the focus of the U.S. presidential contest. VOA correspondent Aru Pande spoke with members of the Bhutanese community, including new American citizens, about the campaign and the strong anti-immigrant rhetoric of some of the candidates.
    Video

    Video Researchers Use 3-D Printer to Produce Transplantable Body Parts

    Human organ transplants have become fairly common around the world in the past few decades. Researchers at various universities are coordinating their efforts to find solutions -- including teams at the University of Pennsylvania and Rice University in Houston that are experimenting with a 3-D printer -- to make blood vessels and other structures for implant. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, they are also using these artificial body parts to seek ways of defeating cancerous tumors.
    Video

    Video Helping the Blind 'See' Great Art

    There are 285 million blind and visually impaired people in the world who are unable to enjoy visual art at a museum. One New York photographer is trying to fix this situation by making tangible copies of the world’s masterpieces. VOA correspondent Victoria Kupchinetsky was there as visually impaired people got a feel for great art. Joy Wagner narrates her report.
    Video

    Video Sanders, Clinton Battle for Young Democratic Vote

    Despite a narrow loss to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in last week's Iowa Democratic caucuses, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders secured more than 80 percent of the vote among those between the ages of 18 and 29. VOA correspondent Aru Pande talks to Democrats in New Hampshire about who they are leaning towards and why in this week's primary.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.
    Video

    Video Microcephaly's Connection to Zika: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

    The Zika virus rarely causes problems for the people who get it, but it seems to be having a devastating impact on babies whose mothers are infected with Zika. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
    Video

    Video Stunning Artworks Attract Record Crowds, Thanks to Social Media

    A new exhibit at the oldest art museum in America is shattering attendance records. Thousands of visitors are lining up to see nine giant works of art that have gotten a much-deserved shot of viral marketing. The 150-year-old Smithsonian American Art Museum has never had a response quite like this. VOA's Julie Taboh reports.