Category: Cable

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LOCAL BROADCASTERS URGED TO SELF-REGULATE, AVOID LEWD AND DANGEROUS CONTENT- MR. LESLIE SOBERS

Local broadcasters were urged to self-regulate or have the Guyana National Broadcasting Authority (GNBA) regulate them, with the warning that this would come with consequences.

This caveat was issued by Chairman of the GNBA Leslie Sobers, while he lectured members of the local broadcasting fraternity on their social responsibility of the content they broadcast, as he called on them to ensure the content they deliver is wholesome for their viewers. At a meeting with television broadcasters to discuss the roadmap for the transition from analog to digital terrestrial broadcasting in Guyana, the GNBA Chairman spoke to radio and television broadcasters on the seriousness of publicizing insensitive content to the public.

According to Sobers, broadcasters should be careful and be more responsible with the type of content that is broadcast to their listeners and viewers. He noted that since he has been chairman of the GNBA he had to reprimand several radio announcers and television stations on speaking and broadcasting lewd content, mispronunciation of words and airing inaccurate and insensitive information.According to Sobers, as long as content is being disseminated viewers or audiences, GNBA has a right to monitor broadcasters. “We have a responsibility to our people. At the GNBA we monitor to ensure that there is no harm coming the way of our citizens,” the chairman said.

During his presentation, the GNBA chairman said that broadcasters should also avoid disseminating material which might lead to crime, violence or civil disorder, in the society and rebuke viewers or audiences who call in to incite violence or fear. He said that though broadcasters have freedom to air content, that freedom requires an equal demonstration of responsibility. “As we enjoy freedom of expression we must exercise responsibility in the way we exercise freedom,” he noted.

Sobers said broadcasters should self-regulate and monitor the content they air. “Monitor yourselves by ensuring that you have a proper policy of what to broadcast… broadcasters must be able to sit and decide in their own minds whether this is appropriate or not, am I being responsible when I show this…?” Sobers related. He added that as there is self-regulation, broadcasters should be able to recognize what is needed to help development, and what should be brought and diffused to children and to the citizens.

The chairman said that if broadcasters do not self-regulate or monitor themselves, the GNBA will have to do it and it will come with consequences. He urged broadcasters to acquire a framework of self-regulation and to follow the Broadcasting Act.

 

Article by Stabroek News

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GUIDELINES FOR BROADCASTING

PLEASE SEE LINK BELOW FOR DRAFT GUIDELINES FOR BROADCASTING

GUIDELINES FOR BROADCASTING – FINAL

VISITORS ARE KINDLY ASKED TO NOTE THAT, WITH THE RECENT PASSAGE OF THE TOBACCO BILL NO. 5 OF 2017, THE TOBACCO ACT NOW SUPERCEDES WHAT IS PRESENTLY IN THE GUIDELINES RELATING TO THIS MATTER.  THE GUIDELINES ARE BEING UPDATED TO REFLECT THIS DEVELOPMENT. 

The GNBA welcomes your feedback, relative to these Guidelines. 

Contact information: 

Email: info@gnba.gov.gy 

Telephone No. 231-7367 /231-7366 /223-5007 

GNBA looks forward to hearing from you! 

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GNBA CONTINUES OUTREACH SESSIONS – HBTV CHANNEL 09

The Chief Executive Officer of the Guyana National Broadcasting Authority (GNBA), in her quest to meet with Broadcast Operators throughout Guyana, conducted a successful session with the management of HBTV Channel 09, on Thursday last, at the Station’s location in Mandela Avenue, Georgetown. This session was led by dedicated officials of the GNBA, with the prime objective to listen and understand the challenges of this particular broadcaster, with the intention to address expressed challenges at the Board level.

Dr. Prudence Lewis- Bhola in her introductory presentation to the management of HBTV CH 09, explained the current state of the GNBA’s Board, and expressed optimism that the subject Minister will soon reconstitute and reconvene the new Board. In addition, she further noted that draft regulations for the broadcast sector have been developed, and will see the reduction of broadcast licence fees, as announced by the previous Board at its last interactive session held with broadcasters.

Relative to the challenges of this Station, the management of HBTV Channel 09 expressed that the station wishes to extend its services to include radio.  This they noted, will make the station competitive and will allow HBTV CH 09 to contend with other stations that are offering both radio and television services. An application, they explained, has been made to the GNBA for a radio licence.

 

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Dr. Lewis- Bhola noted that she remains optimistic that the Board will address this matter when it reconvenes. In addition, the management of the station raised the matter of the payment of both Spectrum and Broadcast Licence fees and the struggle to do so; the broadcaster asked for this to be improved and requested some consideration in this regard.

GNBA’s management team noted the concerns expressed. Additionally, Dr. Lewis- Bhola explained that a Memorandum of Understanding was developed to govern GNBA’s affiliation with the National Frequency Management Unit (NFMU), especially with regard to the communication of information to Broadcasters. The CEO explained the process of attaining a licence and the purpose of the NFMU, relative to the licensing process.

The management of HBTV CH 09 expressed delight to have had the opportunity this outreach created, where their concerns were addressed in the presence of GNBA’s vibrant, youthful and knowledgeable officials. GNBA’s CEO took that opportunity to commend HBTV CH 09 for the content broadcast on their television station, and expressed confidence that the station will continue to do well, especially given the new guidelines that will soon take effect. Moreover, the station was educated on areas for improvement, relative to good taste and decency of content broadcast.

The GNBA intends to continue such outreach sessions throughout 2017. This initiative is the brainchild of Dr. Prudence Lewis- Bhola, who feels it is imperative to first understand the challenges of broadcasters, in a concerted effort to address their expressed challenges, especially those intimately affecting the respective stations, all in an effort the develop the broadcast landscape in Guyana.

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GNBA HELD SUCCESSFUL OUTREACH SESSION WITH RBS CHANNEL 13

Continuous efforts are being made by the management of the Guyana National Broadcasting Authority (GNBA), to engage Broadcast Operators. Management officials of the GNBA met with Mr. Jacob Rambarran, owner of RBS Channel 13, on Wednesday last (Feb 15, 2017), at his broadcast station located in Republic Park, Georgetown.
This session was led by GNBA’s Chief Executive Officer; Dr. Prudence Lewis- Bhola, who outlined the purpose for GNBA’s visit and noted the state of the broadcast industry, with great confidence that the Board will be poised to regularize the sector when it reconvenes. To this end, the CEO gave Mr. Rambarran an opportunity to speak to matters relative to his station and challenges he may be facing as a broadcaster.
The major challenge expressed by Mr. Rambarran was the matter of the exorbitant broadcast licence fees. Mr. Rambarran lamented that at the Board’s last meeting with broadcasters, they promised a reduction in fees, but the GNBA continues to request 2.5 Million Dollars.

Dr. Lewis- Bhola took that opp????????????????????????????????????ortunity to bring clarity to the matter. She explained that the current Broadcasting Act of 2011 stands. Therefore, she posited, until the new regulations come to the rescue, and those regulations are gazetted, the current law applies. She further noted that other broadcasters are honoring their obligations under the existing Act; she also stated that the GNBA is obligated under the Broadcasting Act to call for fees in accordance with the amount stipulated ($2.5 M or 3.5 % of the previous year’s revenue, whichever is greater).

The CEO explained to Mr. Rambarran that a new Board will soon manage the affairs of the Broadcasting Authority; therefore these outreaches form part of a strategic plan to update the files of broadcasters, to duly sensitize the Board of the concerns of broadcasters and the state of the industry. Consequently, it was strongly advocated that RBS CH 13 brings itself in compliance with the Broadcasting Act of 2011, since the Board will be presented with the necessary intelligence, when making critical decisions that will impact both individual broadcasters and the broadcast sector as a whole.
The CEO remains passionate about these outreach sessions and intends to continue to reach out to broadcasters, since it is critical to understand the needs of the industry first, before decisions are made to bring transformation and development.

Telecom

GNBA PARTICIPATED IN THE MINISTRY OF PUBLIC TELECOMMUNICATIONS STAKEHOLDERS’ FORUM

The dedicated officials of the Guyana National Broadcasting Authority participated in a consultative forum held last Wednesday(January 18) at the Ministry of Public Telecommunications, with stakeholders within the telecommunications and broadcasting industries. Discussions were focused on ways the industry can be improved, in light of a liberalized sector, with a new Telecommunications Agency to be developed within the first quarter of this year ( 2017).

Broadcasters present took that opportunity to ask important questions relative to the transition from Analog to Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT). More specifically, with reference to the proposed deadline, year 2020 for the complete switch-off of Analogue Television Systems, questions were brought to the fore on this eventuality.

From all indications, it was noted from the Ministry’s advisors and consultant, with the agreement of stakeholders, that the proposed timeframe for the official transfer to Digital seems unrealistic given the unpreparedness of the industry. It was importantly noted that education is critical at this juncture, with regard to the implications of this transition, and what it means for broadcasters.

During this process of transition, suggestions were made that the GNBA and the National Frequency Management Unit (NFMU) should communicate on matters relating to broadcasters, in a collaborative effort to effectively address their concerns.

Dr. Prudence Lewis- Bhola (CEO) explained that a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was developed by the GNBA to facilitate effective communication between the two entities. In addition, she asked probing questions and made important observations relative to the roadmap designed for the country’s transition to Digital. Her major concern was the matter of Broadcasters not being equipped with the necessary infrastructure to facilitate this transition. She noted, at this point, it is prudent for stakeholders to be sensitized of the requirements.