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The Opposition, A Partnership of National Unity and Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC), is demanding equal access to the state-owned National Communication Network (NCN). Charging that NCN is the mouthpiece of the governing People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C), the APNU+AFC is calling for an end to the practice.
This morning, at the Leader of the Opposition, Mr. Aubrey Norton’s press conference, the coalition contended that NCN, which is funded by the tax paying public, has an obligation to its funders, the people of Guyana, to give equal coverage to the Opposition.
Speaking to the up-coming Budget Debate in the National Assembly, the APNU+AFC stated NCN must ensure that such coverage is fair in terms of programme schedule, duration, rebroadcasts, and relays, and signalled their intent to monitor the Debate coverage and request NCN’s programme logs to ensure compliance with equal access.
To this end the Opposition stated “We hereby put the state-owned National Communications Network (NCN) on notice that we, in the Opposition, and the people of Guyana expect that its coverage of the Budget Debate must ensure the public can listen to the budget speeches of all parliamentarians.”
The full text follow: –
NCN MUST PROVIDE EQUAL COVERAGE OF ALL MPS DURING THE BUDGET DEBATE
We hereby put the state-owned National Communications Network (NCN) on notice that we, in the Opposition, and the people of Guyana expect that its coverage of the Budget Debate must ensure the public can listen to the budget speeches of all parliamentarians.
Let us remind the management of NCN 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. NCN is funded by taxpayers’ dollars. NCN therefore has an obligation to its funders, the people of Guyana.
It must cover the people’s representatives during their participation in national events as critical as the national budget debate. In so doing, NCN must ensure that such coverage is fair in terms of program schedule, duration, rebroadcasts, and relays.
We intend to monitor NCN’s coverage during the debate and to request NCN’s program logs (under the Access to Information Act) to verify its compliance with its national mandate to the people of Guyana. NCN must stop being the mouthpiece of the PPP and become an institution that airs all the views of the representatives in the National Assembly so as to enable our people to be informed and make informed judgments and decisions.