Namibia’s communications regulatory body Cran has cautioned talk radio station Eagle FM against the broadcast of explicit language on its station.
The caution comes after a former Eagle FM presenter allowed a caller to make sexual and explicit remarks on air.
“From the onset, we place on record that the Authority takes full exception to offensive and strong language used in the excerpt. The fact that the Eagle FM presenter simply laughed at said comments aggravates our stance on this matter,” read a letter from Cran CEO Emilia Nghikembua to Eagle FM in possession of The Villager.
Nghikembua further states that the station should note that the language used is not only a material breach of condition 5 of the Broadcasting Code but also does not reflect sound and acceptable broadcasting ethics.
“To this end, the Authority hereby cautions Eagle FM that in terms of rule 5 of Broadcasting code, radio broadcasters may not broadcast material which contains, or which judged within the context to contain, sexual conduct which degrades a person in the sense that it advocates a particular form of hatred based on gender or sexual orientation and which constitutes incitement to cause harm.”
She said Cran would be actively supervising Eagle FM’s broadcast activities to test compliance with the broadcasting code and license conditions.
She further requested the station to provide it with a revised editorial policy.
Eagle FM management said the radio station does not encourage callers to use foul language or anything sexual.
The incident cited by Cran involves a caller who took the hosts by surprise.
The listener who used foul language might have realised that the host of the Free Your Mind show on that particular day does not understand Oshiwambo.
“Eagle FM operates in uncharted waters as a pioneering talk radio station in Namibia. Our veteran callers understand our code of conduct.
“However, we get new callers who mistake the Free Your Mind show to mean that they can say anything, including the use of foul language,” a statement from the management said.
According to the statement, one of the hosts who understands Oshiwambo, and was expected to stop the caller but did not, has been taken off the programme.
The statement said veteran radio hosts either condemn the callers who use foul language or cut the calls to avoid further use of foul language.
“One of our regular callers was suspended from calling for three months when he condoned rape.
“Be that as it may, we apologise for the use of foul language and will act promptly whenever such incidents happen.”