The news director of the Ivorian national television (RTI), Lanciné Koné, has been suspended for covering a football match during the Grand Bassam attack on Sunday, March 13, denying Ivorians information on the attack.
His suspension, which was effected on Thursday, March 17, came after a barrage of criticisms were leveled against the only national television station in the country for airing a local league championship football match leaving Ivorians no option but international and social media for information on the militant attack that claimed 19 lives.
An Ivorian opposition party, LIDER (Freedom and Democracy for the Republic) published an article on its website a day after the incident criticising the TV station. It cited a previous incident where a director was fired for not sending a team to cover the arrival of Alassane Ouattara who was returning from a holiday abroad.
Others also criticised RTI for not being well equipped to offer live coverage of events such as terrorist attacks.
Reports indicate that the Director General, Amadou Bakayoko, initiated an investigation into the lapses in coverage and later decided to suspend Lanciné Koné.
Some workers of the station have said they had little information about the incident at the time and were waiting to get enough to broadcast the information.
Mr Lanciné Koné is temporarily replaced by Abou Traore, regional director of the station in Bouake.