Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Media should avoid misrepresenting facts about broadcast monopoly - PM

Georgetown, GINA, July 4, 2007

Prime Minister Samuel Hinds today noted his continued affirmation of Government’s intention to open up broadcasting and is encouraging sections of the media to avoid misrepresenting facts in this regard.

He expressed disappointment with some sections of the print media which he noted, seemed to enjoy using misleading headlines, following his remarks at the Broadcasting Workers’ Workshop on June 26.

He was at the time responding to a headline printed in the Stabroek News on June 27 and articles written in the Freddie Kissoon column in the Kaieteur News on Guyana’s position on radio monopoly and broadcast legislation.

According to Prime Minister Hinds the media should be more vigilant about distorting and misunderstanding statements, which were evident on the SN front page “Guyana may not be ready for end to radio monopoly – PM”.
According to the Prime Minister, he was at the time reaffirming Government’s position to move deliberately towards enacting a broadcast law, a point that both the Guyana Chronicle and the KN highlighted by their headlines “Government open on ending radio monopoly” and “Ending radio monopoly still on Government’s agenda”.

He also responded to Freddie Kissoon’s column “Disintegration of Survival” which suggested that the Prime Minister’s words on the radio monopoly were not random emanations but were scripted inside Freedom House or Office of the President.

His remarks which he noted, were his own, were intended to help Guyanese understand the issues regarding the opening-up of the broadcast sector. During his remarks at the workshop, the Prime Minister made reference to the United Kingdom, where state monopoly on radio and television were well defended, until a law was enacted in the UK in 1973 which gradually opened the broadcast sector.

He used the example to highlight the significant social, political and economic changes that were necessary within the UK government before conceding in 1973, and explained the relevance of these issues in the context of Guyana today.

The Prime Minister believes that columnists such as Freddie Kisson should turn their attention towards highlighting the reported role which radio played in influencing violence in Rwanda.
Within the Guyana context, the Prime Minister made reference to the division among Guyanese in some sections of the media which led to a decision by President Bharrat Jagdeo and the late Opposition leader Desmond Hoyte to freeze the broadcast sector and establish an interim Advisory Committee on Broadcasting (ACB) until a broadcast law is enacted.

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