The broadcasting regulator has denied it is intimidating operators of radio and television stations.
Yesterday, Chairman of the Guyana National Broadcasting Authority (GNBA), Leslie Sobers, made it clear that the Authority is not in that business. Rather, its mandate is very clear.
His comments would come after accusations of censorship by the Leader of the Opposition, Bharrat Jagdeo.
Sobers stated categorically that the authority does not censor, neither does it “terrorise, intimidate or harass broadcasters” as was claimed.
The Chairman explained that the Authority monitors the airwaves and engages broadcasters on breaches to the Broadcasting Act and the generally accepted guidelines on broadcasting, which can be found on the GBNA website.
The GNBA Chairman indicated that through their licences, broadcasting entities have an obligation to comply with the Broadcasting Act and the laws governing their assigned frequency. He added that if GNBA finds stations committing infractions, “we call, we write, we invite them to discussions, we try to encourage them to desist; because our job is to help develop the broadcasting sector, not to destroy it”.
He noted that with respect to press conferences, if something is said that runs contrary to the Broadcasting Act or guidelines, broadcasters are expected to deal with that in an appropriate manner before broadcasting such content.
The Chairman made it clear that the contention that GNBA favours the government is ludicrous. “We are not the PR for the government.”
The Chairman also noted that Government broadcasting stations have also been warned.
“For instance, the National Communications Network (NCN) has been called in and warned for several infractions, as per the procedure of GNBA. The GNBA continues to function as an independent, impartial and professional entity, with its power vested through the Broadcasting Laws,” GNBA said.
GNBA has been warning that several operators are in breach also of their licences by not paying their fees.
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