Nigeria suspends 53 TV and radio channels causing an outcry in the media world
The Nigerian airwaves regulator claimed a total of six million euros from the broadcasters

Closing inconvenient broadcasters by claiming that their licence has expired is a typical vice of authoritarian regimes. Which, in the most perfidious guises, do not respond to broadcasters or do not issue a receipt even if the publisher delivers the application in person (this happened in Nicaragua to the bishop Rolando José Álvarez, we reported on it here). But in a democratic state, gagging stations is a little more difficult. As the recent case of Nigeria shows: last week, the chairman of the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) had given 53 radio and television stations 24 hours to pay the fee or else be suspended from broadcasting.

Appeal won

An appeal was immediately lodged against the article in the regulation that NBC wanted to use to revoke the licences (claiming that it is unconstitutional and illegal, as it violates freedom of expression), and also against President Muhammadu Buhari. In defence of the broadcasters, the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), a non-governmental organisation that protects economic and social rights in Nigeria, and the Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE) have come to the defence. Justice was swift: on 29 August, Judge Akintayo Aluko of the Federal High Court in Lagos issued an interim order preventing the revocation of the licences and adjourned the case until 8 September 2022.


RJS will be broadcast on FM in five countries in the Sahel region (Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania, Niger and Chad) and online (internet, app).  It will offer programs in French and in the main languages of the region (Mooré, Bamanakan, Hausa, Arabic and Peul)
RJS will be broadcast on FM in five countries in the Sahel region (Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania, Niger and Chad) and online (internet, app).  It will offer programs in French and in the main languages of the region (Mooré, Bamanakan, Hausa, Arabic and Peul)

In sub-Saharan Africa, the focus is on radio to educate young people about active citizenship and how to deal with the challenges they face, such as idleness and unemployment. Choosing the airwaves to dialogue with young people are the heads of state of the G5 Sahel, an organization that since 2014 has brought together Mauritania, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, and Chad to unite efforts in the fight against terrorism. The initiative was also created with support from the OIF (Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie) and the European Union. Radio Jeunesse Sahel will begin FM operations on October 1 from Ouagadougou, where the last staff training courses are being held: 26 media professionals deployed between headquarters and national branches. The editorial and administrative directors are both from Niger. Aimed at the audience between the ages of 15 and 35, it will have six hours of programming in French and the main languages of the region, with repeaters in each country.


On the website of Middle East Eye, an independent organisation with news from the Middle East and North Africa, there is footage of Amani al-Sabah being assaulted by Hani Amasha, the broadcaster’s managing director

It sounds incredible, as the world of radio is full of anecdotes. However, this is a true fact, which happened in June 2022. An anchorwoman of the Egyptian state radio station Wast al-Delta (Mid-Delta Radio) in Tanta, which broadcasts on 1161 kHz medium wave, was abused by her boss, who also raised his hands on her. She demanded payment of a monthly salary. Fearing a violent reaction, the presenter filmed the scene, and in the video (which can be seen on the Middle East Eye website) one can distinctly hear the heated tones of the argument, followed by the woman’s screams of pain when she was hit and injured. Amani al-Sabah filed a complaint against the CEO of the broadcaster. Amani is an uncomfortable character: in 2014, she had expressed views against the government and criticism of the media authority (National Media Committee) and has since had problems with the Egyptian authorities.


The start of the experimental broadcasts was announced on the Radio Maria website on 17 February

The global Radio Maria network adds a new element in Africa, opening in Nigeria. It is the 27th African country (out of 54 on the continent) where the radio station is present. In Africa, Radio Maria also has another 29 radio stations with programmes in local languages. Fr Patrick Alumuku, director of communications for the archdiocese of Abuja, Nigeria’s capital, announced in February 2022 that broadcasting would begin in the city on 91.3 MHz. The inauguration took place on 18 March 2022, while streaming was activated on 4 April 2022. In order to expand its presence in the country (where out of 206 million inhabitants 49.3% are Christian and of these 24.8% are Catholic), an initial group of five frequencies will be switched on in Kaduna, Owerri, Makurdi, Gboko and Ibadan, upon completion of fundraising.

A post published on Radio Maria’s website after the launch of the subscription

Radio Maria, which finances itself with donations from listeners, periodically launches extraordinary subscriptions to expand into new countries. These are long live broadcasts called “mariatone”: the one for Nigeria was launched on 7th September 2020 by Father Livio Fanzaga, the true “soul” of the radio station, which he has been directing for 35 years.

While in South America it strengthens

The announcement of the new Mexican frequency in Sinaloa was made on 7 April 2022

The focus on the African continent does not divert attention from other locations: the broadcaster continues to improve even where it is already active. It was only a few days ago that a frequency was activated in Mexico at Guasave Sinaloa on 90.5 MHz. In Argentina (where it has 270 repeaters), the cities of Colonia Caroya (95.3), Jesús María (95.5), Villa de Totoral (96.1), Laborde (97.0) and Monte Maíz (97.0) have been added in the province of Córdoba; in the province of Santa Fe, the cities of Rosario (103.9, flanking 89.1) and María Teresa (94.9). The World Family of Radio Maria takes care of the affiliates: founded in 1988, it is a non-profit association that helps to spread the radio station by taking charge of the organisation and exchange of experiences of all the activities which can promote and develop the project in the world. The World Family of Radio Maria brings together all the national associations which develop a Radio Maria radio station in their own country.


The Tunisian radio portal, in addition to streaming, offers a selection of news items from the national and regional radio stations and provides an archive of Tunisian music masterpieces, radio plays and rare recordings

Religious broadcaster Zitouna FM has joined the group of Tunisian national radio stations. Founded in 2007 by Sakher El Materi, son-in-law of then-President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, it was confiscated after the revolution of 14 January 2011. Ten years later, the station was officially incorporated into the National Radio Authority. On the Tunisian radio portal, however, it is not yet listed among the stations that can be listened to online, which include Radio Nationale, RTCI (Radio Tunis Chaîne Internationale), Radio Jeunes, Radio Culturelle, Radio Sfax, Radio Monastir, Radio El Kef, Radio Gafsa, Radio Tataouine.

TUNISIA: Copy, cut, transmit – Polish radio jingle pleases abroad

On the Wirtualnemedia website, you can listen to a recording in which the jingles of RM and RMF are compared.
On the Wirtualnemedia website, you can listen to a recording in which the jingles of RM and RMF are compared. Source

The world of radio has accustomed us to the craziest stories. And this one certainly deserves a prominent place. Accomplice technology and probably… a tourist. Wirtualnemedia, a Polish site specializing in media and broadcasting, has discovered that Tunisian broadcaster RM FM had infringed copyright by using jingles from Polish radio station RMF. And in a very detailed report the site interviews an audio producer who explains technically how the infringement took place: the jingles, perfectly identical in melody and singing, are one second shorter, as the final part of the song has been cut to remove the F of RMF, since the Tunisian station is called RM. You can also see that the sound is compressed, a sign that the jingles were recorded from the net or downloaded from YouTube (where they are available) or from the site of the prestigious American production studio that made them.

A few days after the article RM no longer aired jingles


Wirtualnemedia monitoring the audio streamed by RM, and a few days after the article was published, they discovered that the counterfeit jingles were no longer being aired. So it approached the Polish network to see if it had warned the Tunisian station, but the station would not provide details. RMF is Poland’s largest network, with 30.1% of listeners between March and May 2021, according to the Radio Track survey conducted by research institute Kantar.

Radio M’saken RM FM is a station in eastern Tunisia that broadcasts on 99.8 MHz FM from Zeramdine, a town in the governorate of Monastir
RMF is based in Krakow and on its website it offers a summer game that has a prize pool of 520,000 zlotys (over 115,000 euros)

SOUTH AFRICA: Three out of four listeners evade the licence fee

Three out of four listeners evade the licence fee in South Africa
On the website of the SABC (South African Broadcasting Corporation) several pages remind listeners that in July the licence fee must be paid. One of these pages mentions the father of the country, Nelson Mandela, and one of his famous phrases

The image and the quotation of the famous phrase “it always seems impossible until it’s done” by Nelson Mandela, hero of the fight against apartheid and first South African president, are not enough to convince public radio and television listeners to pay the fee. The citizens of South Africa do not want to pay the 265 South African Rand: at today’s exchange rate they correspond to little more than 15 Euros, but it must be considered that income is not equally distributed: blacks receive on average less than one-fifth of the salary of a white person.

Difficult situation

The South African, one of the most widely read sites in the country, devoted an article to the SABC’s situation, and calls this attempt to make ends meet “desperate.”

So at the beginning of this year the SABC, in a severe budget crisis, expanded the number of subscribers to include all those who could receive streaming programs on laptops, tablets and cell phones. But it has already cashed the stop of DStv, a platform that offers programs via satellite or streaming: executives have refused to charge its subscribers, saying that they cannot act as collectors and that public broadcasting must devise other ways to finance itself.

MALAWI: Airwaves planning to be reviewed

Malawi reviews its FM spectrum refarming plan
The Dutch newspaper RedTech Tribe devotes an article to the problems of airwaves planning in Malawi, reporting several statements by operators

The Malawi government will review the airwaves planning that the African country’s communications regulator had initiated in 2019 to address problems generated by channel saturation. The Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (Macra) had tasked the UK-based Casitel, an independent consultancy, with optimising the use of frequencies to allow new stations to open (see our article here). But some radio stations have complained, claiming that switching on new secondary installations to reduce the power of the main one has, on the contrary, generated disturbances. Such as Radio Islam, which by reducing its power from 500 to 200 W is now suffering interference from Radio Maria on 89.9 operating in the Dedza district, which transmits on the same frequency in the Mangochi district. Joy Radio, on the other hand, is complaining about the increased cost of recalibrating its transmitter in order to change frequency.

More details here.

MALAWI: The fourth Catholic radio is born

Archbishop Thomas Luke Msusa (in the centre of the photo) is "impressed by the commitment of the team" that is carrying out the project of the new Catholic radio station.
Archbishop Thomas Luke Msusa (in the centre of the photo) is “impressed by the commitment of the team” that is carrying out the project of the new Catholic radio station.

Kuwala FM, a broadcaster of the Archdiocese of Blantyre, Malawi, was created to appeal to over 2 million listeners. It is the fourth regional radio of the Catholic Church in the country, after Radio Alinafe of the archdiocese of Lilongwe, Radio Tigabane of the diocese of Mzuzu and Tuntufye FM of the diocese of Karonga. The communications coordinator of the Archdiocese of Blantyre, Father Frank Mwinganyama, plans to go on air by the end of 2020. Radio Maria Malawi, Luntha Television and Montfort Media also operate in the diocese of Mangochi.

Guinea Bissau: Radio that wakes up the country is run by women only

Guinea Bissau: the radio that wakes up the country is run by women only
Guinea Bissau: Radio that wakes up the country is run by women only

For two years an all female broadcaster is shaking the tree in this West African country that – according to a UN report – is one of the fifteen less developed countries in the world. The radio station aims to raise awareness on gender equality, formally granted by the constitution, but very difficult to apply in a Muslim and patriarchal society that still uses genital mutilation on young women. Born in Bafata, thanks to the efforts of Periodistas Solidarios – a NGO from Seville (Spain), it operates with equipment donated by Radio Nacional de España and Canal Sur Radio (Regional government of Andalusia’s official radio station); now the project is supported by UN. It could be a coincidence, but within a year the main broadcaster of the city (RCB, Radio Comunitaria de Bafata, 105.5 MHz) hired three women: previously the transmissions were all hosted by men. Radio broadcasting isn’t easy in Guinea Bissau, not only for social and political reasons: electricity is only supplied for a couple of hours during the night, so it’s necessary relying on photovoltaic panels or generators.

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