State media should be privatised

Dear Editor,

I would like to take this opportunity to ask President David Granger not to assent to the controversial Broadcasting (Amendment) Bill as further consultation is needed. I would also like to ask that the clause whereby the government gets an hour of broadcast time on a daily basis from TV and radio broadcasters to air public announcements to be removed. It is not necessary as the media already willingly devotes enough of their time to carry public announcements for free. There is no need to press-gang the free media into government service by legislation.

As President Granger noted, the media in Guyana are in a transformative state after the repression of the press, the radio monopoly and state-controlled media houses of the past.

We have moved to a more free press, the freeing up of the radio monopoly (which we need to thank Bharrat Jagdeo for, even if he did allegedly dole out radio and TV licences to friends of the PPP ‒ I say this wryly).

It is hoped that those licences would, in time, be transferred to more impartial operators and that the state media (in the form of NCN and Guyana Chronicle) would be privatised. Even if he achieves nothing in his term as President other than the freeing up of the state media (NCN and Guyana Chronicle) Mr Granger would have achieved much for Guyanese.

Yours faithfully,

Sean Ori

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