This programme was not in keeping with the new Wireless and Telegraphy Regulations
Stabroek News
April 20, 2002

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Dear Editor,

Mr Lorri Alexander's Channel 9's TV call in show which focused on the Miss Guyana pageant, broadcast on Tuesday (16th) and Wednesday (17th), featured him encouraging personal, scurrilous and demeaning, if not libelous remarks, about the winner, Mia Rahaman and Mr Lumumba and derogatory comments about the organisers and judges.

On Wednesday's broadcast, he played a tape from Tuesday's programme repeating the most insulting of the remarks about Ms Rahaman and Mr Lumumba and declared that he really did not approve of callers making these remarks, after having broadcast them a second time.

He offered no explanation as to why in the first place he allowed the remarks to be broadcast and then replayed them the following evening nor did he apologise for broadcasting them.

Mr Alexander also made a number of unfounded, inaccurate and highly partisan statements regarding the organisation and the organisers of the Pageant and, in particular, with regard to the process of briefing the judges. He could not have made any attempt to check with the organisers or to corroborate his remarks. There was nothing impartial about the views and information being presented by Mr Alexander in his broadcast.

The Wireless and Telegraphy Regulations now require that a Broadcast "licensee shall ensure that nothing is included in programmes which offends against good taste or decency or is likely to encourage or incite racial hatred or incite to crime or to lead to public disorder or to be offensive to public feeling".

The Broadcast Regulations also require that "the licensee acting reasonably and in good faith, shall ensure that any news given (in whatever form) in the programmes of the licensee, is presented with due accuracy and impartiality"

The Regulations also require that the licensee "shall provide a reasonable opportunity for the public to be exposed to the expression of differing views on matters of public interest".

The licensee of Channel 9, to the best of my knowledge, has not broadcast any programme offering a different view or perspective or information to those expressed and encouraged by Mr Alexander on his broadcast.

By publication of this letter, which I have copied to the Chairman of the Broadcast Advisory Committee, Mr Pat Dial, and to the Prime Minister, the Minister responsible for establishing the standards set by the Regulations, I'm inviting the attention of the committee and the Prime Minister to Mr Alexander's broadcast on Channel 9 for appropriate review and action in accordance with the law which governs the conditions for licencing television broadcasting stations.

I'm also inviting their attention to the requirement for the licensee of Channel 9 to provide a balanced programme schedule on particular matters of public interest.

Yours faithfully,

Kit Nascimento