14 Dec 2010

Media watchdog critical of Tonga radio closure process

5:09 pm on 14 December 2010

The Pacific media watchdog group, the Pacific Freedom Forum, has admonished the Tonga Government for manner in which it shut down a radio station broadcasting current affairs.

Broadcom's FM 88.1 was ordered to cease broadcasting 11 days ago.

It had been using a borrowed licence held by publisher Kalafi Moala, who withdrew it after the government said there'd been complaints about the station's content.

The PFF's Lisa Williams-Lahari says if the government had concerns there is a process that needs to be followed, rather than simply reacting to criticism.

"Otherwise you know you've got stations losing their licence on allegations, on complaints, on some people that were upset over something they found to cause others to be angry. I mean there is surely something that needs to be looked at and given a lot more weight that just saying complaints have been heard, people are upset, let's shut a station down. It's crazy."

12 people have been put out of work by the shut down.