PNC/R says no moves being made on monopoly of state media
Stabroek News
July 29, 2002

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The ending of the ruling PPP/C monopoly of the state-owned media and the depoliticisation of the public service were addressed during the suspended dialogue process but it is evident that they have not been implemented, the opposition PNC/R is arguing.

"As far as the PPP/C media monopoly is concerned, we wish to point out that despite the agreement of the joint committee that this matter should be addressed, the PPP domination of news and political opinion on the GTV and GBC have become even worse," PNC/R chairman, Robert Corbin, told reporters Thursday, referring to the state-owned television company and radio station.

He said the views of other political parties are consistently and effectively excluded from the state media.

He added that the party has noted the increasing practice of broadcasting political material from the PPP/C and the misleading suggestion that they were paid for by the PPP/C.

According to him, the PNC/R's intelligence has informed that the political broadcasts are not paid for by the PPP/C or the government.

He alluded to the agreement reached by the joint committee on the operation of the interim committee on broadcasting which stated: "that during this (interim) period, any regulation of the industry should include, as an important aspect, the strengthening of mechanisms for self-regulation by licence holders as the primary mechanism for industry monitoring of broadcasting standards. Interim regulations should assist in weaning the licence holders to move to improve their own standards and conformity to acceptable broadcasting standards practiced throughout the democratic world."

Corbin said as far as the depoliticisation of the public service was concerned, and to which President Jagdeo gave irrefutable concurrence, the PNC/R has noted that permanent secretary in the Ministry of Education, Hydar Ally, has won a seat on the PPP/C's central executive committee. Corbin said the PNC/R believes that Ally has the democratic right to hold political office but the party also contends that he cannot do so while holding office as a permanent secretary in a public service ministry. Corbin said the party hopes that Ally does the decent thing and resigns forthwith from the ministry.