Tonga Broadcasting Commission

New Zealand donates state of the art equipment to Tonga’s national broadcaster

The broadcaster received state of the art equipment from Pacific Cooperation Broadcasting Limited (PCBL) yesterday which will help boost its service to the region.

“PacHub is built on the LiveU infrastructure, which is used widely internationally, and is an industry standard for live transmission and news gathering” Natasha Meleisea, CEO of PCBL said.

MEIDECC and Tonga Broadcasting Commission collaborate to deliver better Weather Services

This new initiative has been made possible by the Tonga Meteorological Services (TMS) a Department of the Ministry of MEIDECC and the Tonga Broadcasting Commission (TBC).

Director of Tonga Meteorological Service, ‘Ofa Fa’anunu said there is a need to improve their services that link directly with socio-economic development.

“I think there needs to be a change in the way weather and climate services are delivered. Virtually every occupation, every economic venture, every investment, every harvest depends on the weather and the climate.”

Tonga Broadcasting Commission Board appoints new CEO

The Board of the national broadcaster appointed Ulakai to the top post with effect from Friday, 1 May 2020.

Ulakai began her career at TBC in 1989 as a trainee news reporter and has been working at TBC for over thirty years.

She comes into the role of CEO after being Manager of the News and Content Department for the past couple of years.

Media watchdog calls for 'transparency' over Tonga suspensions

The Pacific Freedom Forum said Setita Tu'ionetoa, Salamo Fulivai and Vilisoni Tu'iniua were suspended last week over allegations they attempted to incite distrust in the government.

The allegations stem from comments made last year on the show Tonga Today.

Forum co-chair Ofani Eremae said the suspensions would dissuade journalists from questioning the government.

New studio for Tonga’s national broadcaster

The new building is part of the $56 million Pa’anga Nationwide Early Warning System (NEWS) Project.

At the groundbreaking ceremony, Deputy Prime Minister and  Minister for Tourism and Infrastructure, Semisi Sika said the building will replace the first-ever broadcasting studio building for Tonga that was commissioned by Her Late Majesty Queen Salote Tupou III in 1961.

“Such milestone work was established with the primary purpose to deliver radio and now television programmes to entertain, educate and inform the audience.”

TBC yet to confirm broadcast of MMT vs Kangaroos test match

The Minister for Labour Minister, told parliament that therefore it is not yet confirmed whether the game will be broadcast on Radio and Television Tonga.

The minister was replying to a question from the Ha’apai 13 MP – Veivosa Taka about whether the game would be broadcast live by TBC.

Tonga broadcaster in need of help after Gita

The Tonga Broadcasting Commission's acting general manager, Solomone Finau, said the station suffered damage to equipment and its studios during the storm.

Mr Finau said the TBC suffered more than 160-thousand US dollars worth of damage.

The TBC has been under constant scutiny for its flagging revenue and has recently been restructured but the general manager still hopes to get some financial help from the government.

Tonga's TBC goes 24 hours

Previously it only broadcast after hours between midnight and six in the morning if there was a public emergency.

The station received a revamp earlier this year in an effort to improve content and boost revenue after being called 'an enemy of government' by the prime minister.

The Acting General Manager of Tonga's Broadcasting Commission, Solomone Finau, said while content hasn't yet been finalised, there are plans to stream everything online.

Tongan broadcasters low key in election buildup

Two of the Tonga Broadcasting Commission's most senior journalists were recently moved out of the newsroom into sales, and a popular talkback programme was cancelled.

The Tonga Broadcasting Commission and the government have had a strained relationship this year with Prime Minister 'Akilisi Pohiva calling the broadcaster 'an enemy of government.'

However, revenue losses and unpopular content were the reasons given for the changes.

Mr Fonua said the changes have had an impact on the amount of election coverage broadcast on the TBC.

Lawyer says moving Tongan journalists into sales is unlawful

The public broadcaster's chair Tu'i Uata has begun his tenure by moving editor Laumanu Petelo and news manager Viola Ulakai into the marketing department.

Both journalists had run-ins this year with the prime minister 'Akilisi Pohiva who called the TBC an enemy of government because of its critical coverage.

Mr Uata said the move was because the TBC was running at a loss and its content was unpopular.

But the journalists' lawyer, Clive Edwards, said it was a political move which had broken the law, particularly in the case of Ms Ulakai.