Since December 2010, STAR Radio has suspended its broadcasting throughout Liberia and on its website. After months and months of tensed and difficult financial crisis, with liquidity’s shortages, delays in the salaries, delays with the suppliers, etc., the staff of the radio, organized in a “Association of the Staff of STAR Radio”, decided to stop working and to address many issues to the radio station’s management and Board.
The Liberian population, the listeners, are the first victims of the suspension of STAR Radio, and many are complaining, wondering what is happening. The situation has led to many rumours about mismanagement, misused of funds, taking over of the radio by the government: all of these are wrong and unfounded. For 6 months now, the Board has been trying to manage the situation by negotiating with the staff and raising money for the re-launch of the station. Despite national elections taking place in October 2011 (presidential and legislative), and the refugees situation from neighbouring Ivory Coast, Liberia is not high on the international community’s radar screen and funding to support the radio station operations (salaries, rent, power, communication, and transportation) in complement of the locally generated revenues from advertising and sponsorships is hard to get.
Global Giving and its individual donors are STAR Radio’s last chance to not close definitively. Time is of essence, all suggestions and support are welcome. Liberia and its people deserve to receive independent information, particularly now that elections time is right at the corner and that no media in Liberia have the mandate to help Liberians make informed choices for their future.
Wednesday (June 15) is Bonus Day, so GlobalGiving is matching donations at 30% all day while the $75,000 in matching funds last.