The state-owned National Communications Network (NCN) is coming under fire from the People’s National Congress for only airing the contributions of Government Members in its broadcast of the National Budget Debate.
The People’s National Congress is the largest party in the APNU+AFC Opposition Coalition.
In its broadcast of the National Budget Debates on its television stations and its social media accounts, on the first day of the Budget Debates, NCN completely ignored the contributions from the Opposition to the debate.
In a statement this morning, the People’s National Congress reminded the state broadcaster that the state media is obligated to cover the views and activities of the parliamentary opposition in a fair and objective manner.
The party said that numerous fair-minded citizens alerted the party to NCN’s coverage of the first day of the budget debates where there was exclusive focus on the Government MPs.
“The PNCR need not re-litigate the well-established position that the State media is not the exclusive mouthpiece of the ruling party. The State media is obligated to also cover the views and activities of the parliamentary opposition in a fair and objective manner. The complaints from citizens yesterday about NCN’s one-sided coverage testify to the fact that ordinary Guyanese expect the management of our State media to rebuff attempts at government control and to perform its duties in a professional manner”, the Opposition party said.
The PNC has now issued a call for the state broadcaster to provide coverage of the speeches of MPs on both sides to reflect the seat allocation in the National Assembly and to ensure such coverage is fair in terms of programme schedule, duration, rebroadcasts, and relays.
The PNC Reform said NCN needs to also inform the nation through a media release that it intends to or has already taken the actions recommended by the Opposition.
The Opposition said its demands remain valid regardless of whether NCN is providing full live coverage or selective delayed coverage.
Contacted this morning for a comment, the Acting CEO at NCN, Neyaz Subhan said he was involved in a meeting and will get back to us later.