Ordinary citizens will soon be monitoring agents under GNBA

pilot citizens monitoring programme for September launch

DPI, Guyana, Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Regular citizens will soon play a critical role in providing surveillance on Guyana’s airwaves. This was disclosed at the Guyana National Broadcasting Agency’s (GNBA) fourth stakeholder engagement at the Arthur Chung Convention Centre.

Communication Specialist and GNBA board member, Dr. Rovin Deodat said the pilot ‘Citizen monitoring programme’ is scheduled for a September launch. It will see monitors selected from communities countrywide who will be under tutelage and guidance of GNBA.

Communication Specialist and GNBA board member, Dr. Rovin Deodat.

The GNBA has a monitoring unit but lacks the resources to oversee everyone. Dr, Deodat explained that “with licensed broadcasters on the increase – that is both radio and television – one needs a larger cadre of monitors. We know that people are not only affected but feel that they should be involved because of the calls we get.”

He further added that “people call in an irate manner and demand to know how certain things are allowed to be said on the radio or shown on the television. So now we are giving them a voice.”

Dr. Deodat said that initially, citizen monitors will be tasked with scrutinising the prevalent areas where breaches often occur. They will focus on the use of obscene, lewd and distasteful language and images.

Additionally, at today’s stakeholder engagement, broadcasters were urged to also play their role and following the broadcast laws. This Dr. Deodat said also applied to call-in programmes where citizens make derogatory remarks while giving their opinions.

Persons interested in becoming monitors can contact the GNBA on 231-7266, 231-7369, 231-7367 or 231-8362 for more information.