MBC assumes control of state media assets

Maldives Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) has assumed control over the state media assets– Television Maldives (TVM) and Voice of Maldives (VoM), a week after its headquarters were forcibly taken over by rogue police and military amid the intense political unrest of February 7, when former President Mohamed Nasheed was forced to resign in what he calls a coup.

MBC assumed control over the state media, following President Dr. Mohamed Waheed Hassan Manik’s decision in favour of the transfer.

Until recently, the parliament-created state broadcaster MBC had been engaged in a long running tug-of-war with state-owned Maldives National Broadcasting Corporation (MNBC) for control over the state media assets that was re- branded by the company as MNBC One and Raaje Radio.

Despite a court order in favour of MBC, the government continued to run the stations under MNBC  claiming that MBC was stacked with opposition-linked members planning a “media coup”.

However, speaking to the press on Wednesday, Chairman of MBC Ibrahim Umar Manik expressed his commitment to run the state media with “impartiality” and within legal bounds.

“As stated in the law, we will operate the two stations as a public broadcaster by bringing independent news, information and programme,” Manik said.

Meanwhile, in a statement released today, Maldives Journalist Association (MJA) welcomed move, saying that the association expects MBC will remain independent and prioritise the “nation’s interest”.

The statement also reads that an independent editorial board needs to be established to ensure unbiased and fair reporting expected of a public broadcaster.