Guyana Chronicle
November 21, 2001

In an effort to upgrade and improve the media and to encourage responsible behaviour from our media practitioners, a Media Code of Conduct was drafted. Media operators were invited to these consultations. It was the general consensus of journalists, broadcasters and media owners that such legislative measures were extremely needed and the elections period was as good a time as any to begin to draft laws to monitor the behaviour of practitioners.

The concept was not to govern the elections period only, but was meant to evolve into guidelines for appropriate behaviour by our media in general.

The Advisory Committee on Broadcast regulations will be named shortly, will act as a nonpartisan group to help move the way forward in encouraging a free and open society. What we do not expect is the spirit of skepticism which could very well sabotage the success of the project altogether.

The state-owned media is considered to be much more professional than the private-owned media. And generally the print media, both public and private are considered much more professional than the televised media. The Advisory Committee should pay considerable attention to regulations specifically geared to the operation of the televised media.

These measures are long overdue and since trends of globalisation and improved technologies and newer ways of doing business are the order of the day, it becomes easier for broadcasters and journalists to adapt traits and mannerisms which are not appropriate to the society to which they belong.

The media must work not for their selfish agendas but in a responsible manner to educate the public in the name of democracy.

A comprehensive set of regulations is needed. Good Luck!
Vivian Durga