Nationwide hits back against Ragashanti ban
Kingsley 'Ragashanti' Stewart
Takes issue over whether Broadcasting Commission has sufficient regulatory authority

NATIONWIDE NEWS NETWORK (NNN) has slammed Executive Director of the Broadcasting Commission, Cordell Green as "arrogant and pompous" and has accused the commission as acting as "judge, jury and executioner" in ordering the radio station to cease broadcasts of the 'Ragashanti Live' programme featuring the controversial Kingsley 'Ragashanti' Stewart.

In a statement today, NNN head Cliff Hughes said that when the station was first invited by the commission to discuss 'regulatory matters', it was provided with a tape of the alleged breaches and sanctions, without first being able to respond to the allegations.Related story:Ragashanti ordered off air by Broadcasting Commission

"Checks by NNN revealed that most of the questionable content was not aired on our terrestrial radio service, because our 'delay technology' was used to dump the offensive content. That 'delay technology', at the time, was not attached to our Internet service, over which the Broadcasting Commission has no regulatory authority. NNN on its own initiative has since made the necessary technical adjustment to have the 'delay technology' apply to our Internet service as well," said Hughes.

Hughes complained also that Green insinuated that Nationwide's response was "somehow contrived, and/or fabricated"

"His comments last night are symptomatic of how the Broadcasting Commission has been handling the issue of broadcast content on the Ragashanti Live show: The Commission has arrogated unto itself the awesome and dangerous powers of being "judge, jury and executioner" without due regard to well established principles of administrative law," Hughes said.

He said that NNN had taken legal advice before making its response and has asked Green to justify whether the commission has regulatory control over its Internet broadcasts. The station said that it had received no formal response since it wrote to the commission on the issue on February 24.

"It will also be very useful for all Jamaicans to hear from the Broadcasting Commission whether it has regulatory control and authority over what is said, written and done on the Internet!" he said.

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