For almost three decades, the Centre for Communication Studies (CCS) at the University of Guyana (UG) had been without a radio broadcasting licence, despite its repeated requests for renewal. The wait is over now following the launch of radio station ‘95.5 Intelligent FM’ yesterday.
The radio station is billed at $8M. Its frequency will spread throughout a 10-mile radius of the university’s Turkeyen Campus, reaching as far as Melanie Damishana on the East Coast of Demerara (ECD) to Den Amstel on the West Coast of Demerara (WCD), and even further to reach the village of New Hope on the East Bank of Guyana (EBD).
Pro-Chancellor of the university, Major General (ret’d), Joseph Singh, while noting the university is now in its 56th year of operation, said that it is crucial that recognition is given to those who have toiled and contributed to the success of this project.
After meeting with Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo, Minister of Public Telecommunications Catherine Hughes, and then Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Guyana Broadcasting Authority Dr Prudence Lewis-Bhola, UG resubmitted its request for radio and TV licences in 2017.
Minister Hughes relayed her happiness with the final operationalisation of the radio station, citing the scores of persons who have been waiting for decades for this dream to become a reality.
“At last, at last, at long last,” Minister Hughes said. “Campus radio has become a reality. I am extremely proud because part of [my father’s dream] for the evolution of broadcasting in Guyana has finally started.”
Additionally, she said that the station would be ‘bridging the gaps’ that exist within the communication and broadcasting training sectors.
Chairman of the Guyana National Broadcasting Authority (GNBA) Leslie Sobers shared his view that the time has come for Guyana to transition to catering to persons living with disabilities in relation to journalism and broadcasting industries.
The university’s Communication Studies programme has been in existence for more than 35 years. It is one of only a few institutions in the Caribbean region dedicated to training broadcast and print journalists and producers of radio and television programmes.
The radio station will provide training in live radio and television production for students enrolled in the Diploma and Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Studies. It will also support more specialised training for students of the Master in Visual Communication, set to be launched within the coming months.