Mauritania has given broadcasting licenses to seven private TV and radio stations, ending 50 years of state monopoly over the audio-visual media, Al-Jazeera reported on 24 November. “We will depend 100 per cent on the expertise of Mauritanian youth,” Abah Ould el-Salek, an owner of one of the new TV channels, told Al-Jazeera. “We will uphold professional standards, such as accuracy and neutrality,” he said.
However, the move to licence only two TV channels and five radio stations out of a total of 29 applications was decried by some of the media outlets that were denied a license, Al-Jazeera reported from Nouakchott/ “Public opinion was deeply shocked by our channel being denied a licence,” announced a Shankit TV presenter in a broadcast on the Internet. “I wonder why Shankit TV was not granted a licence despite the fact that it is the only channel that is ready for launch,” said Mohamed Ould Lamine, the channel director. “It has all the infrastructure, staff and buildings,” he told Al-Jazeera.
“We conducted the process in full transparency and allowed applicants to be there when we opened the applications and we also handed out the selection criteria,” Saleh Ould Dahmach from the High Authority for Press and Broadcasting told Al-Jazeera.
(Source: Al-Jazeera TV, Doha, in Arabic 2130 gmt 24 Nov 11 via BBC Monitoring)