May 18, 2012 Letters
The NCN prides itself as a national broadcaster yet it is one of the least ethical corporations in the world.
First, the most apt situation that describes the unethical behaviour of that corporation is the one on its blunt and shameful refusal to air the views of all Guyanese regardless of political inclinations. For nineteen years, NCN accepted substantial sums of money through subventions from the public purse. These sums have helped that network to enhance its communication infrastructure. That placed NCN ahead of many privately- owned television that could not afford to procure modern communication equipment and upgrade the technical competencies of their staff.
Yet, for all of that, its management consistently refuses to adequately air and report on the views and opinions of the public through their representatives- the opposition. This results in stifling the free flow and expression of ideas, opinions and views; inhibits the development of democracy and retard national growth; and make it difficult for NCN to hold the government accountable, which is the duty of the fourth estate.
NCN has demonstrated that it has taken the side of the government and in fact, acts as a public relations arm for it. It has put those journalists and reporters who want to be professionals, in a difficult position. They are obliged to report in keeping with the network’s view of the government and the opposition. It constrains them to act in an unethical manner and destroys professional pride.
Second, the NCN is using its workers as a front to create an artificial crisis. Ordinary workers, whose only desire is to earn a living, are used to protest the opposition through different activities. This is not only unethical but tantamount to an abuse of managerial power and the rights of ordinary workers.
Rather than change its ways management prefers to indulge in sacrificing their workers. It is a show of a lack of organizational care on the part of NCN.
Third, the drive to do right is not part of the DNA of the management of NCN. This is so because many of its senior managers are really PPP/C activists and not real professional journalists. As a result, they do not see the need to practise the features of good news reporting including objectivity, balance, and fairness. A good case in point is the programmes on the cuts made by the opposition to the national budget 2012.
Almost every day for the last week or so, NCN convened panel discussions and talk shows. Yet, its management did not consider it prudent and fair to invite leaders of the combined opposition to sit on, even one of the numerous on-air discussions, to comment on their actions and engage the public. Only PPP/C Members of Parliament appeared on those so- called media shows overdoing themselves and falling over each other to express hurt and to call the opposition names pandering to their supporters.
Their action speaks to a false but strong view held by some PPP/C members that they alone know what is good for Guyana. Therefore, the views of the opposition are not worthy of air time on NCN.
However, the management of NCN fails to acknowledge that the majority of Guyanese voted for the combined opposition than for the minority PPP/C government. In that sense, the opposition has greater legitimacy to talk to the people than the minority government because the people have reposed more trust in the opposition than the minority government.
The people want to hear their representatives through the channel that has been receiving part of its taxes through subventions for nineteen years. NCN is denying them that right. It is wrong and unethical. NCN is one of the least ethical corporations in the world.
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