The Guyana National Broadcasting Authority (GNBA) is introducing it citizens’ monitoring programme in a bid to keep broadcasters in check, as Guyana moves closer to an election period.
During a stakeholders’ engagement held at the Arthur Chung Convention Centre at Liliendaal yesterday, GNBA’s Communication Specialist, Dr. Rovin Deodat underscored the importance of the citizenry in the monitoring of television and radio broadcasters.
According to Deodat, citizens often call the authority to lodge complaints over the contents of programmes aired on the radio or television. He disclosed that the programme to be rolled out in September will provide citizens with a more formal avenue to report their concerns with the authority.
Dr. Deodat informed stakeholders that the GNBA hopes to draw monitors from different age groups, communities and organisations across the country. He said that the primary aim is to help curtail and prevent the broadcast of obscene, lewd, or any language that is distasteful or incites violence or racism, as the country heads to general and regional elections. Any such behaviour will not be tolerated, the GNBA official warned.
Dr. Deodat noted that the programme is being implemented with the particular aim of focusing on those broadcasters operating outside of the primary zone, which mostly encompasses those broadcasters operating out of Georgetown.
The GNBA official had previously stated that getting broadcasters to be compliant with the guidelines continues to be a challenge for the authority given the limited human resources to monitor.
At forum earlier this year, Deodat asserted that, “We monitor fairly thoroughly the primary zone, but we have not been able to put in place monitors for the other zones; and this is in direct response to that. We will have to volunteer monitors in all the regions of Guyana. We are just at the start of setting that framework up. It will cover not only the primary zone but all the other zones as well,”
The GNBA Board member had pointed out that balance and fairness in broadcasting, as mandated by the law, is of utmost importance.
The GNBA has a monitoring department that tracks the broadcast of its various licensed broadcasters — television, radio and cable – and monitors their broadcasts to ensure they are in keeping with the Broadcast Act 2011.
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