There is mounting public concern that the state broadcaster, the Liberia Broadcasting System (LBS) could go off the air at a time when the public needs more information relative to the fight against Ebola.
Several citizens who spoke to the INQUIRER intimated that by going off the air, the station which has been in the vanguard of disseminating government’s information to the people has fallen short of doing its job at this critical time.
The citizens noted that the station as a state owned entity should be funded by government to better serve the country in terms of information dissemination especially that, which comes from the government.
They further stressed that at a time when the country is fighting the deadly Ebola Virus Disease (EVD), government should do all within its power to ensure that the station which is the only government’s owned be opened and operative.
Many expressed frustration that government entities that have nothing to do with the fight against the Ebola virus were given huge sum of money while the state broadcaster that is in the business of educating the populace about the deadly disease is left undone in term of financial support.
“The Government does not mean business to fight Ebola if they cannot support a station like LBS letting it to go off the air because of the lack of fuel while they are indirectly supporting privately operated station. This trend must change now if the fight against the virus must gain grounds,” a university student said.
“It is LBS that usually carry the daily Ebola Press Conference at the Ministry of Information to the public through their live broadcast. However due to the fact that the station is off the air, we are sitting and not getting the latest information relative to the fight against the Ebola virus,” a school teacher who is at home due to the closure of schools intimated.
In an interview yesterday, the Chair of the Board of Directors of the Liberia Broadcasting System (LBS), Professor Weade Kobbah Wreh, said it is unfortunate that the state broadcaster could go off the air at this crucial time in the history of the country.
Professor Wreh said it is pathetic that the state owned station could go off the air at this time of the country’s history when everyone needs information to protect themselves from the deadly Ebola virus.
She said by statue, government should be providing sixty percent of the cost to run the station but expressed regret that the station could go off the air due to the lack of fuel and budgetary support.
Professor Kobbah Wreh said the Board of Directors is expected to meet soon and discuss the matter, adding, “People made promises to support the station but failed to live up to their promises. The Minister of Finance is a member of the board”.
She stated further that LBS is a state-owned entity and that it’s the responsibility of the state to support the up- keep of the station at all times.
When contracted recently, the Director General of LBS, Mr. Ambrose Nmah, said the station was off the air because of the lack of fuel; report Timothy T. Seaklon