European Union representatives engage GNBA on broadcasting sector in light of impending elections

OCTOBER 30, 2019 – Representatives of the European Union recently visited the Guyana National Broadcasting Authority and met with Chairman of the governing Board Mr. Leslie Sobers, as part of their exploratory and fact-finding mission to determine whether they should propose additional (monitoring) support to Guyana at the upcoming General and Regional Elections.

The primary focus of the engagement was to garner an understanding from the GNBA on the state of affairs of the broadcasting landscape in Guyana and to establish from the Authority its perspective as to whether citizens have easy access to information. The Board Chairman in outlining the present state of the Broadcasting Sector informed the E.U. Representatives of the geographical zones established for Television, Radio and Cable broadcasting.

The Board Chairman also informed (E.U.) representatives of the remit of the Authority and more specifically, what, how and why the Authority monitors broadcast content; and the fact that monitoring is done within the parameters of the Law.  He also gave a brief historical background on broadcasting in Guyana and the possible role of the GNBA in monitoring Social Media, within the confines of the Cybercrime Act 2016.

The Board chairman alluded to the fact that the GNBA will be collaborating with the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) and the Ethnic Relations Commission (ERC) as it relates to monitoring broadcast content at the impending elections, slated for March 2020.  It was also pointed out that the GNBA will be developing a Citizen Monitoring Programme that will further increase its monitoring capacity overall.

The Chairman also indicated to the representatives the level and ease of access to information available to Guyanese in various parts of the country.