Feb 25, 2021 News
– says reporters open themselves to be sued
Kaieteur News – Speaker of National Assembly, Manzoor Nadir, yesterday cautioned media operatives against publishing instances of heckling during the 2021 budget debates, as it opens them up to the possibility of being slapped with a libel suit.
His pronouncement comes one day after Kaieteur News published a report on the distasteful commentary overheard during the opening day of the budget debates by identified members of the National Assembly.
But as day two of the debates kicked off yesterday, the Speaker searchingly said, “The media is allowed in and to assign comments or heckles to honourable members of this House?” He continued, “Personally, I feel the media opened itself to being sued. Had I been sitting and I see in the press, a comment being attributed to me, I would ask the press person to find the evidence.”
The Speaker noted as well that he aired his concerns with the President of the Guyana Press Association (GPA) on “responsible reporting” in the National Assembly and urged the media to engage in such.
Kaieteur News was informed that in the National Assembly, whatever comments or heckles are made, while a Member of Parliament (MP) has the floor, is public record.
However, commentary from other MP’s while sitting are not.
It should be noted though, that many of these comments are heard via the Parliament’s live stream on its Facebook and YouTube pages.
As the debates opened on Monday, instead of witnessing Guyana’s largest budget to date being scrutinized by both sides of the House, Kaieteur News instead had a front row seat to the hurling of racist, homophobic, and sexist insults from one MP to the other.
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