Cameroon bans several FM radio programmes

Regulation & Policy

Indefinite bans have been slapped on three widely-followed interactive radio talk shows in Cameroon's capital Yaoundé by the country's media watchdog.

The National Communication Council (NCC) on Thursday said the daily talk shows' on Youth FM, Amplitude FM and Sky One Radio respectively entitled Déballage (The Unwrapping), La Voix des Sans Voix (Voice of the Voiceless) and Surface de Vérité (The Truth Tribune)’ violate ethics and professional conduct. The shows' presenters have also received suspension from broadcasting.

Duval Eballe, presenter of La Voix des Sans Voix, was suspended for six months while his colleagues, Jean-Jacques Ola Bebe, Claude Yong, Aimé Césaire Zambo and Hervé Mfoula, of the other media houses were each handed three-month suspensions.

Authorities have accused the presenters of using their shows as court rooms where scores were settled and infringed on the privacies of the "accused".

In these programmes, presenters take "suspects" by surprise with a phone call from the studio in the presence of the "accuser". The presenters have been suspended in the past. But they either switched media organs or ran the same shows under different titles.

Bans were also imposed on two presenters of Douala-based television stations, Canal 2 International and LTM TV. Ndi Tansi aka Awilo got a six-month suspension while his Pidgin English IPP News on LTM TV, was closed down indefinitely.

The NCC says between March 21 and 27, both programmes “projected… large extracts of mutilated and decaying bodies; violent and indecent images".

The media regulator also issued a firm warning to six television stations.

New TV, Vision 4, Ariane TV, Golden House, LTM TV and Dan Broadcasting Service were asked to halt broadcasting adverts for traditional doctors.

Canal 2 International was cautioned to cease broadcast of violent and indecent programmes.

Media in Cameroon, especially the private ones, complain of government interference with the freedom of the press.