No debate about VBTC’s China TV plan, meanwhile Radio Vanuatu coverage disappears during cyclone seasonPosted: February 26, 2016
This news service yesterday brought up the issue of negligible public awareness of Radio Vanuatu (VBTC) planned developments with a Chinese company concerning extending television to all islands. Such an extra dimension to media services of the state within Vanuatu should only be carried out with the approval of the population as a whole. Yet there has been no public debate on television availability at all hours – no forum of any kind.
And meanwhile the public complaint concerning Radio Vanuatu reception continued during Cyclone Pam and last week with the passage of Cyclone Winston when warnings could only be heard on South Pentecost through FM107 or seen on tiny mobile telephone screens. People should not have to climb hills and trees to have reception of such warnings when they have been available on the household radio for over 40 years, managed by ni-Vanuatu transmission engineers, sometimes supported by foreign aid, but without the need to bring Chinese companies into the formula. Your writer learned of the Pentecost island cyclone Winston warning problem only last night. Radio reception of the national service remains a difficulty on West Coast Santo and in the Banks and Torres where they hear their warnings from the Solomons.
The problems in VBTC are further highlighted by a post of long serving broadcaster Antoine Malsungai on Facebook yesterday. The VBTC claims to be taking action against certain staff for various offences and yet the staff union is bringing a case against VBTC Board and management – a case which still has to be heard. Malsungai also raised the matter of the Chinese company involvement in the Corporation. The whole matter surely needs the interest of the newly formed government.