August 9 2019
The Guyana National Broadcasting Authority, (GNBA) has flagged the Freedom Radio 91.1 Fm which is operated by the Peoples’ Progressive Party, Civic (PPP/C).
Chairman of the GNBA, Leslie Sobers, confirmed yesterday that the authority has issued several warnings to the station after it received complaints about content of the programme it aired.“Our Job at the GNBA is to monitor and having noted the violations of the radio station in regard to the Broadcasting Act, we have issued several warnings.“We had warned the operators specifically about the call-in programmes because the Broadcasting Act requires programmes be fair and balanced in content.”According to Sobers, programmes dealing with controversial public, political matters should not be used to tarnish people’s characters.In accordance with the regulations, Sobers stressed that must meet standards of fairness and balance, accuracy, maintaining a proper balance and respect for truth and integrity by always ensuring that opposing views are not misrepresented.
While the constitution guarantees Guyanese freedom of expression, the Broadcasting Act stipulates that all public comment, whether by way of interview, discussion, debate or phone-in conversation should be well mannered and courteous.According to the Act, contributors to live, phone-in and other programmes, as well as presenters themselves, must be briefed to minimize the risk of causing offence in matters of taste, decency, language or breaking the law.
Opposition Leader Bharat Jagdeo
But Leader of the Opposition, Bharrat Jagdeo accused the broadcast authority of specifically targeting PPP programmes.According to Jagdeo the broadcasting authority is terrorising radio and television stations which they perceive to be not sympathetic towards the government.“They want to censor my press conferences. So people get called over some things I said at my press conference.Manager of the Stations are asked, ‘can’t you find positive things to say about the government.’”Jadgeo believes a political ploy is at hand to silence the Opposition by limiting its freedom of speech.