The recent utterances made by the Leader of the Opposition, Bharrat Jagdeo, is an attempt to force the Guyana National Broadcasting Authority (GNBA) to shut down his party’s radio station, Freedom Radio, so that he can claim unfair treatment. At least, this is the argument being posited by GNBA’s Chairman, Leslie Sobers.
Jagdeo, earlier today, criticised the authority of imposing restrictive measures on Freedom Radio, which require that the entity now submit recordings of its programmes for GNBA’s perusal.
The politician said that this is an attempt by the GNBA to muzzle the station, as he decried discrimination.
However, Sobers in an interview with the Guyana Standard this afternoon, said that the GNBA has no intention of denying the station, the freedom of expression. He referred to Jagdeo’s claim of restrictive measures as a “falsehood”.
The lawyer said that station allegedly committed 32 infractions, and that the requirements set out are geared at preventing Freedom Radio from committing the same mistakes.
“We are trying to work with our broadcasters and point out to them what are the infractions, and see if we can help them after realising how to improve their broadcasting. So, again, we will not be forced into action. We will act in our own deliberate time in accordance to our plan and our schedule,” Sobers said.
The GNBA Chairman continued, “If he believes we are going to take some action that will give him something to say, no. He should really start changing his tune right now, because we are not going to be forced by him. We are not even looking at infractions right now (first-quarter of 2020). We’re now wrapping up 2019.”
Sobers assured that Freedom Radio is not being discriminated against.
Asked if Freedom Radio is the only station on the GNBA’s radar for committing infractions, Sobers responded: “Certainly not Freedom Radio alone. That’s crazy.”
He reported the following: Freedom Radio, 32 infractions; Multi Technology Vision (MTV), 16 infractions; WRHM, 2; NTN, 14; Hits and Jams, 4; STVS, 1; SKAR Communications, 2; TVGI, 4; Radio Guyana Incorporated, 1; Blackman and Sons, 2; and CNS, 1.