It is difficult to examine the renewal of Radio-Haiti's licenses without examining the state of the Haitian broadcasting company and the lack of predictability of the funding allocated to public services and programming .
Radio (s) play a fundamental role in the Haitian broadcasting society, in the promotion and development of local and national talent and contribute significantly to the cultural life of the country.
“Being energy efficient, radio is the ideal medium for Haiti” complete Hérold Jean-François the founder of Radio Ibo, in a country where only 25% of the population has a regular access to electricity. Another advantage: radio lends itself well to the geography of Haiti – it is said that Napoleon crumpled a sheet of paper to describe the capricious relief of the island. For a long time, and before the arrival of the mobile phone, the FM was the only way to communicate remotely in the hilly lands. In fact, there are 200 radio stations in Haiti, including 50 in Port-au-Prince – not to mention the neighborhood radio stations, which broadcast without a license. And only a national newspaper the Nouvelliste.
“Haitians are fond of debates. In 2009, the economic precariousness of the Haitian press accentuated the turn-over in the newsrooms. And makes it difficult to conduct long-term surveys. This precariousness also favors porosity with the communication professions, which are generally better paid. Thus, one of the most popular presenters of Signal FM, Lucien Jura is now … spokesman for the Haitian presidency. A type of “transfer” which Haiti does not have the prerogative, far from it …
According to Article 68 of the Decree-Law Regulating Broadcasting in Haiti (October 12, 1977), the operating licenses of commercial radio stations are granted for a period of five (5) years minimum to fifteen years maximum. These time limits may be extended for successive periods of five years (5), provided that the dealers observe the statutory regulations, continues the article.
Article 72 of the same decree-law regulates the question for non-commercial radio stations. Indeed, this article stipulates: “The executive authority may authorize the installation and operation of stations intended for cultural and educational purposes, without commercial advertising, for a period not exceeding five (5) years. This authorization may be renewed provided that the stations reach their objectives. ”
When considering the list of radio stations (AM and FM) of the Department of the West published below (This information was published on the Conatel website in January 2011. Some of the radio stations on the list has now changed its name, which is permitted, but the names of the owners, under the law, can not be changed unless the frequency in question is recovered and reassigned), all licenses operation or authorizations of radio stations issued before the year 2002 have come to term under Article 68 of the Decree-Law.
It may also be considered that some of these licenses or authorizations have been extended “de facto” for successive periods of five years, always in accordance with the wishes of Article 68. However, the total of these extensions may not exceed original duration of the concession or authorization.
So the need for a renewal of authorizations or licenses to operate radio stations in Port-au-Prince that have fully enjoyed the 15 years provided for by law is required. (We take for granted that the owners of these stations all want to continue broadcasting)
The real question today is whether this should be done within the framework of the indispensable global reform of the audiovisual sector or outside the said reform.
|STATION  OWNER||TYPE||FREQ||CITY||DATE_ASSIG|
|SUPER STAR RADIO||ALBERT CHANCY||FMS||102.9||PAP||28-Apr-86|
|LAKANSYEL RADIO||ALEX ST-SURIN||FMS||103.7||PAP||22-Jun-89|
|INDIGENOUS RADIO||ALFRED MICANOR||FMS||88.9||PAP||30-Nov-95|
|COMMERCIAL RADIO||CLAUDY JOSEPH||FMS||92.5||PAP||04-Mar-96|
|RADIO KYSKEYA||COLLECTIVE KISKEYA||FMS||88.5||PAP||08-Jul-91|
|RADIO ZINITH FM||RONY COLIN||FMS||102.5||PAP||17-Feb-92|
|RADIO PLANET KREYOL||ERILUS KESTO||FMS||106.5||PAP||16-Sep-94|
|RADIO MBC||FRANCK MAGLOIRE||FM||94.9||PAP||22-Mar-89|
|RADIO MAGIK 9||TOTAL PRESS SA||FMS||100.9||PAP||28-Feb-92|
|RADIO SKY FM||GUY CESAR||FMS||96.5||PAP||08-Dec-93|
|TROPIC FM||GUY JEAN||FMS||91.3||PAP||04-Apr-91|
|UNIVERSAL RADIO||HADLER MICHAUD||FMS||101.3||PAP||02-Jun-93|
|RADIO METROPOLE||HEBERT WIDMAIER||FMS||100.1||PAP||31-Aug-82|
|RADIO SODEC SERVICE||HENRY CHERY||FMS||104.1||PAP||02-Sep-93|
|RADIO HAITI INTER||HERITIANS JEAN L. DOMINIQUE||FM||106.1||PAP||16-Sep-75|
|RADIO HAITI INTER||HERITIANS JEAN L. DOMINIQUE||AM||1330||PAP||19-Jul-79|
|MEGASTAR RADIO||HERITIERS JEAN VERDY BASTIEN||FMS||97.3||PAP||02-Oct-95|
|RADIO IBO||HEROLD JEAN FRANCOIS||FMS||98.5||PAP||10-Feb-95|
|RADIO HORIZON 2000||J. B. BAUDELAIRE DUBIC||FMS||95.7||PAP||30-Jan-96|
|INTERNATIONAL ANTILLES||JACQUES SAMPEUR||FMS||96.9||PAP||15-Sep-82|
|INTERNATIONAL ANTILLES||JACQUES SAMPEUR||FM||93.3||PAP||15-Sep-82|
|MAX POWER RADIO||JEAN E. BEJIN||FMS||98.9||PAP||30-May-94|
|RADIO GINEN||JEAN LUCIEN BORGES||AM||1030||PAP||02-Jan-99|
|RADIO EV. OF THE ISLAND OF GONAVE||FM||107.5||THE GONAVE||12-Jul-95|
|RADIO THE VOICE OF THE ISLAND||JN MARIE DECILIEN||FM||93.3||THE GONAVE||02-Dec-96|
|RADIO GINEN||JEAN LUCIEN BORGES||FMS||92.9||PAP||27-May-92|
|RADIO COMPASS||ANITOUD CELONY||FM||102.3||LEOGANE||30-Jun-97|
|RADIO TI MOUN||LAFANMI SELAVI||FMS||90.9||PAP||04-Oct-96|
|RADIO ONE||LEO OF VASTEY||FMS||90.1||PAP||03-Feb-92|
|RADIO PACIFIC||QUESNEL TIBEAU||FM||97.3||SMALL-GOAVE||31-Aug-98|
|RADIO KADANS||LIONEL BENJAMIN||FM||106.9||PAP||30-May-89|
|ENERGY FM||LUNEL AUGUSTE GEGU||FMS||101.7||PAP||28-Sep-94|
|RADIO MELODY FM||MARCUS GRACIA||FMS||103.3||PAP||25-Jan-96|
|RFI-HAITI||MARY CHRISTINE BUSSENIUS||FMS||89.3||PAP||23-Oct-89|
|VOICE OF HOPE||MISSION OF THE ADVENTISTS||FMS||89.7||PAP||21-Sep-82|
|SWEET FM||MRS CAMILLE DESMANGLES||FMS||99.7||PAP||31-Jan-96|
|RADIO VISION 2000||MULTIPRESSE S.A.||FMS||99.3||PAP||10-Dec-90|
|RADIO LIGHT||PATRICK JOSEPH||FMS||100.5||PAP||27-Aug-93|
|CARIBBEAN FM STEREO||PATRICK MOUSSIGNAC||FMS||94.5||PAP||07-Oct-94|
|RADIO SIGNAL FM||SIGNAL S.A.||FMS||90.5||PAP||29-Jun-89|
|RADIO SOLIDARITY||VENEL REMARAIS||FMS||107.3||PAP||04-Jan-95|
|RADIO GALAXY||YVES JEAN BART||FMS||104.5||PAP||06-Feb-89|
For our part we believe, wanting to renew the operating licenses of radio stations outside the necessary and necessary reform of the sector, we may add confusion to the confusion. In fact today, globally, four (4) documentations are in the possession of our broadcasters (some have 3 and others all 4):
- The authorization of the Ministry of the Interior
- The letter of assignment of frequency of Conatel
- The annual license of Conatel
- The contract of concession
The authorization of the Ministry of the Interior does not mention any duration. The letter of assignment of frequency of the Conatel no more. However, the said letter refers to Article 68 of the decree-law regulating broadcasting which sets the duration of the authorization or license.
As for the annual broadcasting license issued by Conatel, it is supposed to be issued each October 1st to end on September 30th of the same year.
The concession contract is valid for a period of 15 years
In light of these data, we can make the following remarks:
- The broadcasting regulation is far from being a model of clarity. It creates confusion by using indifferently the terms “ Authorization “, “ License of holdings ” and “ grant “.
- This confusion is echoed in the legal documentation provided to our broadcasters. Indeed, some have licenses, others licenses and a small group has concession contracts.
- When Conatel announced in the news release dated June 30, 2017: “Licenses previously granted whose validation period is coming to an end and whose owners request renewal, will be analyzed. in-depth technical prior to decision-making “many broadcasters sought explanations and some had to be reassured. However, other broadcasters who feel directly targeted by the said communiqué are waiting patiently for the end of this “in-depth technical analysis prior to decision-making”.
It is worth recalling that an attempt to standardize and renew broadcasting licenses in 2013 was not successful because some broadcasters simply refused to sign the new contract proposed by the Commission. regulator by putting forward “ acquired rights “.
We strongly believe that any desire to “sectarize” more licenses or licenses whose validation period comes to term under Article 68 of the above-mentioned decree-law trying to make believe that certain authorizations or licenses are still valid despite the 15 years of full enjoyment, while others must be subject, for a possible renewal, “in-depth analysis prior to any decision-making”, can only bring additional disturbances in the broadcasting sector in Haiti and weaken it.
We therefore advocate a smooth and political renewal of radio station operating licenses, preferably as part of the overall reform of the audiovisual sector with new specifications.
However, if radio remains the dominant medium (by far), its health is fragile. The number of stations has increased to overflow. In Port-au-Prince, the frequencies eventually overlap. Hence a fragmentation of resources, poorly offset by advertising. (Listen here to an example of advertising on Haitian radio):
** The radio also faces another phenomenon: the rise of television. A TV set is no longer a luxury product, and media groups are now betting on the small screen. For the first time this week, the private group Télé Signal broadcast its newscast **.
Beyond these turpitudes, the majority of Haitian journalists remains optimistic : “the years of struggle against the dictatorship strengthened us, rejoices Hérold Jean-François, one of the journalists threatened under Duvalier. Today, if pressure came from the political power, the whole profession would become one. ” And self-censorship “is less and less possible says Nicole Simeon. With the Internet and social networks, a media that hides things gets discredited immediately. ”
Despite the many challenges, we are optimistic about the future of public broadcasting in Haiti and its ability to respond to the changing needs of Haitians. In order to increase this capacity, we recommend:
– The renewal of the licenses of Radio according to the law
– The establishment of a fund funded by a contribution of 0.75% of the gross revenues of BDUs. This money would go to local and regional television programming. It would be produced by public, educational, provincial and community broadcasters.
-The guarantee of a mandatory News Network distribution in the French, Creole and English-language markets.
– An implementation plan and process to better reflect “the multicultural and multiracial character of Haiti.”
– Undertake or commission a study on the impacts on communities as a result of the loss of their local news and other programming.
-Haiti: Reform of the Broadcasting Sector: For a Smooth Renewal of Licenses for the Operation of Broadcasting Stations ( by Montaigne Marcelin)
-cmg / ca