The state-owned National Communication Network (NCN) has been streaming the PPP’s press conferences live for the past two weeks, General Secretary Clement Rohee acknowledged yesterday, but said he was unaware of the sum being paid to NCN to facilitate this.
It has been noticed that the PPP has set up a permanent media base to house the equipment for live broadcasts.
Neither the AFC nor APNU has access to a similar facility through NCN for their weekly press conferences.
When this publication queried the cost of the broadcast with Freedom House after the press briefing, the question was directed to NCN. Stabroek News reached out to NCN’s Chief Executive Officer Molly Hassan, but up to press time contact could not be established.
The PPP has been heavily criticized for its partisan use of the state owned media.
In an invited comment, AFC MP Cathy Hughes, said she was not surprised that the PPP would be utilizing the state media in such a way. Hughes told Stabroek news that the AFC was not approached by NCN with any offer of the same broadcast possibility for its weekly press briefing.
Hughes said that the contract and the financial obligations of the arrangement between the PPP and NCN needed to be disclosed and “in a really independent and politically fair media landscape that offer should be made to all the political parties; at least an offer should be extended… it is a double standard.
“NCN is an organization that is clearly run by a political party there is nothing about NCN that can be seen as a national broadcast, it is quite unfortunate.” She said that it was unacceptable that the state should be asked to fund an entity that is partisan.