Guyana’s press freedom ranking remains unchanged
-Govt. says radio licences not for any “lagoo bagoo”
Guyana’s press freedom ranking remained unchanged for 2011/2012, a report by the press freedom watchdog Reporters without Borders indicated yesterday, even as government sought to justify its granting of new radio licences.
The report, released yesterday, ranks Guyana at 58th out of a total of 179 countries around the world examined for their press freedom track record.
Reporters without Borders promote and defend the freedom to be informed and to inform others throughout the world. Based in Paris, it has ten international offices (Berlin, Brussels, Geneva, Madrid, Montreal, New York, Stockholm, Tunis, Vienna and Washington DC) and more than 150 correspondents in all five continents.
The latest report from Reporters without Borders particularly noted the fact that radio broadcasting is still a state monopoly in Guyana.
The government recently approved the award of new radio licences, but none had thus far started operating. The privately-owned Stabroek News and Kaieteur News were denied licences despite long standing applications.
The government’s chief spokesman, Dr Roger Luncheon, yesterday sought to justify the licences granted thus far, including to Dr Bobby Ramroop, the man former President Bharrat Jagdeo publicly called his “best friend.” TVG 28, formerly VCT, is now under the control of Ramroop.
Luncheon said that the licences were granted to those who were “fit and proper,” namely those who hold the financial ability and technical skills needed to set up a radio station.
As such, he said that radio licences were not intended for any “lagoo bagoo.”