The President of the Association of Liberian Community Radio (ALICOR) has frowned at statement made by River Gee County District #2 Representative Christian S. Chea that the District representative or Commissioner had the right to examine any story aired on the Voice of Fuamah or VOF.
(Left to right) Rep Chea and Mr. Quare
Representative Chea, during the official launch of a Community Radio -the Voice of Fuamah, in Heindi, Fuamah District, Bong County on April 9, 2014, said Representative Corpu G. Barclay or the Commissioner of Fuamah District had the right to examine any story aired on the VOF, emphasizing that these Officials had even had the right to bind “anything” considered offensive in the News.
Representative Christian Chea is a former Manager of Radio Gee in Fish Town, established by the then Liberia media Project run by the Press Union of Liberia, Catholic Justice and Peace Commission and Center for Justice and Peace Studies, in partnership with International Alert-a UK based Peace-building organization. His ascendency to the House of Representative was through his association with the community radio as Station Manger.
Mr. William Quare, reacting to the statement, described Rep. Chea’s declaration as a threat to Community Radio in Liberia, noting that the statement has the propensity to hinder the smooth operation of Community Radio Stations in the Country. In a related development, the ALICOR President has stressed the need for more budgetary allocation for the sustainability of Community Radio Stations in Liberia.
Mr. Quare noted that the issue of sustainability was paramount to Liberian Community Radio, adding that the issue of keeping Community Radio on was a serious problem. He indicated that Liberia has a little over 50 Community Radio Stations of which he is heading, and that only a few were benefiting from the National Budget.
He used the opportunity to call on the Speaker and other members of the 53rd Legislature to find a place in this year’s budget to for the Community Radio Network.
“We will highly appreciate if you pass the money through a Representative, but the issue is that some Representatives in our Counties tell the Radio Stations that this is my personal money and I run it the way I want to,” he said.
According to him, there is an instant wherein 20 Community Radio Stations benefited from funds from National Government- something he stated, others did not benefit.
He recommended to the Speaker and colleagues to always pass allotment intended for Community Radios through the Ministry of Information or ALICOR. He also used the occasion to call on community dwellers to support community radio stations by all means possible.