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GeneralLiberia news

Boakai wants LBS to be decentralized

President Joseph Nyuma Boakai thinks the state-owned Liberia Broadcasting System (LBS) should be decentralized to make it accessible to the citizenry.

By: Kruah Thompson

Congo Town, Liberia, May 27, 2024 –President Joseph Boakai commits to transforming the Liberia Broadcasting System (LBS) into an independent entity, thus decentralizing its presence across all 15 counties.

President Boakai expressed the commitment on Friday, May 24, 2024, during a three-day Cabinet retreat that focused on coordination and performance: delivering on National Agenda priorities.

While political observers have often criticized state broadcast radio as a tool for disseminating government messages, President Boakai aims to shift its role towards independence and broader public service.

During the retreat’s second day, he reiterated his commitment to making the State Broadcasting System independent while expanding its reach to every county in Liberia, ensuring each capital has its own TV station.

The President’s commitment follows a plea by the LBS Director General, Eugene Fahngon, who highlighted that 60% of the institution’s funding comes from the government, with the remaining 40% reliant on internal administration efforts.

In his address, Mr. Fahngon asked the government to prioritize LBS’s outside broadcast team whenever they are called for government coverage.

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President Boakai promises to prioritize the outside broadcast team for coverage requested by government institutions, emphasizing the importance of openness and inclusivity in the platform’s content.

At the same time, the President emphasized the need for the platform to evolve beyond merely propagating government messages and advocating for its accessibility to the general public.

The Liberian Broadcasting System is a state-owned television network founded as a corporation in 1960. It was owned and operated by Rediffusion London until 1968 when management handed over the facility to the Government.

LBS is a conglomeration of multiple broadcast media platforms, including ELBC radio, online, and social media. The System also has rural sub-stations, LNTV, Metro FM, SGTM, China Radio, Radion France International, and BBC World Service. Editing by Jonathan Browne

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