Equipped with more powers, the Independent Broadcasting Authority reportedly struck its first blow this week. L’Express newspaper reported that the regulator wrote to private radio station TopFM on 28 December, criticizing several talk shows aired between November 23 and December 6.
The IBA reportedly claimed that, during these talk shows, 25 speakers spoke out against the proposed amendments to the IBA law, while only two were reportedly in favour.
Top FM was told that several sections of the law require such shows to be impartial and balanced, with conflicting views, Defi Media reported.
In its letter cited by l’Express, the regulator said it prefers to initially adopt a “soft approach”. The IBA reportedly called Top FM – the most hard-hitting radio station in the coverage of scandals – to consider its letter as a warning, “failing which sanctions may be applied”.
The talk shows were about the IBA’s new powers, which were voted in Parliament despite calls for reason from the opposition, civil rights activists, ex-regulators, media entities and academics.