When listeners complain
Published On October 17, 2015 » 4331 Views» By Hildah Lumba » Columns, Entertainment
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Radio new new - jackieIT has been twice now when a radio listener phoned in to a live radio programme to express displeasure at the manner presenters carried themselves while live on air.
One caller did not like a conversation between a female and male presenter, while the other caller on another day, on a different radio station, simply told a presenter that he was rude.
Obviously, different people respond differently to criticism, worse off if that is being said when millions of other radio listeners are tuned-in.
Unfortunately, or rather fortunately, radio being a public medium, those who feature, listen and work on radio maybe open to such public reproach. However, it is the manner in which one reacts which matters.
In the two cited instances, the censured presenters were magninimous enough to laugh off the attacks, yet other callers also phoned through to their defence.
Much as radio stations and presenters have the advantage and freedom of airing their views, they also have the responsibility to broadcast programmes of a sober nature.
Other than phoning a radio station to exchange words with a presenter, listeners can turn to the Independent Broadcasting Authority (IBA) in the manner stated below:
Complaints Procedures
The IBA Act (2002), in Part V, Section 33, provides that the Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC) and all other broadcasters must develop a code of professional standards, which shall comply with the following minimum requirements:
1. Respect for the human dignity and human rights and freedoms, and contribution to the tolerance of different opinions and beliefs
2. Comprehensive, unbiased and independent news broadcast and current affairs programmes with commentary clearly distinguished from news
3. Observance of  procedures for correcting factual errors and redressing unfairness
4. Observance of the principle of the right to reply
5. Protection of the integrity of minors by clearly classifying and distributing programmes that could endanger the development of a child in a way with the least possibility for a child to use it
6. Clear separation of advertisements from other programme outputs.
Therefore, where members of the public have found that a broadcasting station has gone against any of the above standards, they have the right to register such grievances to the IBA.
The Process
1. When a member of the public has a complaint against a station that has breached one or more of the above standards, that person must:
i. Write to the station via post, email or fax, stating what grievances they have against the broadcast;
ii. State when the broadcast took place;
iii. State who the broadcaster was;
iv. State their names and contact details for further communication by the broadcaster
2. Upon communicating with the station, it is expected that the station will respond to the complainant within fourteen (14) days
3. Where the person has not received a response or has received a response within fourteen days, but considers the response to be inadequate; that person may forward the complaint to the IBA.
4. When a complaint reaches the IBA through email, post or fax, the IBA will institute an investigation.
5. The IBA shall not investigate the complaint if it is satisfied that:- i. the complaint is frivolous or vexatious or was not made in good faith;
ii. the complaint is not relevant to a code of practice developed by the broadcasting station or
iii. the complaint is brought more than three (3)months after the broadcast in question was made.
6. If, having investigated a complaint, the IBA is satisfied that the complaint is justified, the IBA should take action to obligate the broadcasting station to comply with the relevant code of practice.
7. The other action that the IBA may take may include broadcasting or otherwise publishing an apology or retraction.
8. The IBA shall notify the complainant of the results of such an investigation.
9. If the IBA has made a recommendation to a broadcasting station to remedy the complaint, and the station does not do so in fourteen days, the IBA, may by notice in writing, require the station to make good the default within a specified time.
10. If the broadcasting station fails to comply with the notice referred to in (9), the IBA shall apply to the High Court for an order compelling the licensee to remedy the default.
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The publication of Choolwe Mbawa (Boogie C)’s demise last week in this column attracted phone calls from listeners who wanted more details about the talented radio Deejay’s death.
From those phone calls, one can deduce that Boogie C was a voice to reckon with. This is a youth who only showcased his deejaying skills in few years but left a huge impact.
At the age of 30 and having being on radio less than five years, Boogie had already made himself a name, listeners are talking about today.
Boogie went on air as an instant master of the microphone because he had what it takes to be a good broadcaster; the VOICE.
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Engineer Felix Chanda phoned from Lusaka appreciating last week’s diversity in covering the radio stations, but requested that it would be helpful if we added station frequencies to every sub title in order to help listeners sample them.
***
Dear Jack
“My views are on the radio commentaries that ZNBC carries live on its Radio Two channel.
The commentaries are much appreciated but I feel the management needs to make some changes to make them more enjoyable.
I say this because I feel there is need to scrap the news that starts at 15:00 hrs when the game starts. This coupled with adverts that follow before crossing over to the commentator makes listeners miss the opening 10 minutes or so.
I would suggest ZNBC crosses over five minutes before the game so that an update can be given so that fans know what to expect than just heading start into a match.
And that advert that comes whenever a goal is scored! Can it come after the commentator gives update as to who scores and for which team unlike someone just shouting studio studio!.
And many at times, the commentator forgets to properly explain how the goal was scored by who and time due to the long period of the adverts.
Hope the ZNBC management can also consider rotating the commentators to avoid boredom and listening to the same words by one person (who without taking anything from him, has done well). I thank you and have a blessed weekend.
Elias
Lusaka.”
Stay tuned, don’t touch that dial! – jackmwewa@gmail.com  0955115777

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