Broadcasters urged to be cognisant of Broadcasting Act

DPI, Guyana, Thursday, February 20, 2020.

The Guyana National Broadcasting Authority (GNBA), Chairman, Leslie Sobers has advised broadcasters to follow the principles set out in the Broadcasting Act during their election coverage.

At a press briefing on Thursday, he said that radio and television broadcasters need to deliver content that is in keeping with the Broadcasting Act of 2011.

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Guyana National Broadcasting Authority (GNBA), Chairman, Leslie Sobers.

The GNBA head noted the tendency toward elevated emotions during the election period and urged broadcasters to incorporate “a delay mechanism to allow for the screening of inappropriate content before airing.”

Sobers also acknowledged that the constitutionally-guaranteed freedom of expression and the election period create an environment for the airing of political views, but he stated that media outlets must avoid statements that were “likely to rouse clamorous behaviour.”

“It is responsible for broadcasters to ensure that the content delivered to the public is reflective of the principles and core tenets outlined in the Broadcasting Act of 2011. Political candidates will express themselves, and the public must also freely receive these ideas in order to make informed choices,” Sobers said.

The GNBA Head underscored that broadcasters needed to refrain from inflammatory speech, imbalanced or inaccurate information, and language that promotes discrimination or violence.

“What political broadcasters can do is provide information that would enable the electorate to make informed choices, all paid or free broadcasts in support of political parties or candidates shall be clearly identified before and after the programme,” Sobers stated.

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