The Private Sector Commission has written to President Donald Ramotar seeking his intervention to ensure equitable access to the state broadcast media for all of the political parties contesting the upcoming elections.
The Opposition parties have complained that their commercials were being rejected by the National Communications Network although NCN has signed on to the Guyana Elections Commission’s Media Code of Conduct.
The APNU+AFC coaltion has complained about its ads not being accepted by NCN. Sources close to NCN told News Source that management was instructed not to allow APNU+AFC ads until after nomination day on April 7.
The Private Sector Commission is aware of the complaint and wants the issue addressed by the President who also serves as the Minister of Information. The PSC is also asking all media houses to ensure there is equitable access to their airwaves and pages throughout the election cycle.
In a statement on Friday, the private sector body noted that “all political parties contesting the upcoming elections should be allowed fair and equitable access to all media entities for paid political advertisements and party elections broadcasts. In this regard, the Commission calls for transparency by the media entities of the spots and spaces that will be made available for political advertisements and for transparency in the pricing of such allocations.”
Meanwhile, the PSC is also calling on political parties to be respectful of the work of journalists and to allow journalists to carry out their job in an environment that is free from fear.
The Commission said it is concerned at reports of harassment, intimidation and threats to media operatives whilst covering political events and calls upon all political parties and their supporters to accord due respect to all members of the media and to ensure the safety of such operatives at all times. The Commission also calls for all accredited members of the media to be accorded free and unimpeded access to all public rallies and other political events.
The Guyana Press Association has also called on political parties to ensure that a peaceful and free from fear environment exists for reporters to carry out job.
Guyana will host elections on May 11, 2015. Nomination day is set for April 7.
Filed:28th March, 2015