Media proprietors body urges repeal of Channel 6 suspension

- says await judgment of the court

The Guyana Media Proprie-tors Association (GMPA) has called for the speedy repeal of the sanctions against CNS Channel 6 and urged that the judgment of the court be awaited.

The GMPA said in a statement yesterday that it is troubled over recent developments in the media industry and concerned about the imposition of sanctions for infractions in a matter that is before the court.

“We are fearful that the proprietors of CNS Channel 6 are liable to be unjustly penalized twice for the same occurrence,” the GMPA stated.

It said further that its “unequivocal preference is that the application to the courts for redress, a constitutional right of every citizen, by the purportedly injured parties be awaited and that judgment is respected when rendered.”

The GMPA recommended that in the culture of democratic states and as a way of ensuring that the human rights of those involved are not violated, urgent consideration must be given to reversing the sanctions, “thereby precluding any further national divide and averting any further ridicule of Guyana.”

According to the media proprietors’ body, “the nation’s  judicial system is sufficiently robust and is best suited to mediate in such matters and to discharge its findings with fairness and impartiality and without recourse to any form of bias or ill will.”

And warning against reliance upon the sole discretion of an individual, it noted that although humans are often capable of astonishing magnanimity, the fluctuations of the human state would mean that such results would always be unpredictable, unreliable and may appear arbitrary and even capricious.

The GMPA asserted that since in this case that discretion is exercised by President Bharrat Jagdeo who occupies the highest constitutional office, “it renders the citizen without recourse to any person or place for an appeal to compassion.”

The GMPA maintained also that “in this circumstance the unreasonably harsh penalty does not fit the infraction.”
Further, the GMPA argued, the “timing of the sanctions is extremely problematic coming at a strategic  juncture of the nation’s affairs when citizens require  and depend upon the media to provide information about the issues at stake at the regional and national elections which are imminent.”

The body further pointed out that “the issuance of the sanctions disregards their impact on the public the television station serves; ignores the unsavoury financial consequences to the livelihoods of the staff and proprietors; and is uncaring of the consequential effects upon the number of other citizens who are connected to the economic outputs generated from this service.”

Meanwhile, the GMPA has called on all its members to “exercise diligence in their work and greater oversight in their operations to forestall any likelihood of injury to persons as they vigorously pursue their sacred obligation of providing the citizenry information that allows them to make the best choices in the political, economic and social dimensions of their lives.”

The media proprietors’ body also disclosed that the recommendations of a transmission, studio and sound engineer who was on a recent visit here will be studied with a view to improving the quality of television operations of its members.

Moreover, the GMPA said that it intends to petition for the treatment of the industry as an economic asset generating and capable of generating wealth to the nation through the services it provides.