Earlier in January, a community radio station in Ghana, West Africa was violently attacked. Staff were beaten, harassed and held hostage, the station’s equipment was damaged, and the on-air host at the time was sent to the hospital. The station suspended on-air operations for ten days as they dealt with the aftermath.
Now, Radio Ada 93.3 FM is partially back on the air, and they expect to return to full broadcasting operations on February 1, 2022 — which happens to be the community radio station’s 24th anniversary.
But why did the attack happen? Radio staff say it was because of their journalism.
Recently, several programs had discussed developments at the nearby Songor Salt Lagoon — the largest salt-producing lagoon in West Africa where salt production is a major industry— and publicized documents related to the monopoly. Radio staff say the attackers “threatened to inflict further havoc should the station continue with programmes on the Songor.”
Radio Ada has pushed back. In an online fundraising appeal to replace broken equipment and return to on-air operations, the station wrote,
“This is an attack on the freedom of the media to report unobstructed, an attempt to silence and intimidate community from voicing concerns against government decisions to prioritize big business, and an attack on human and Indigenous rights, including the right to free prior informed consent. Radio Ada staff and the community of Ada are shaken, as the radio station is such an important part of the small community, but they are steadfast in overcoming this brutal attack.”
For more on the attack and Radio Ada’s recovery efforts, World View interviewer Gil Halsted speaks with three guests with knowledge about the situation.
His guests are Julius Odoi, Program Director of Radio Ada; Amanor Dziagu, another member of Radio Ada staff who witnessed the attack; and Jonathan Langdon, a researcher at St. Francis Xavier University in Canada who is currently studying social movement learning in Ghana.
To donate to Radio Ada’s fundraiser, click here.
Photo courtesy Radio Ada’s Facebook page. Web production by Chali Pittman.