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Minister of Informaton: Broadcasters should adhere to high standards

Minister of Informaton: Broadcasters should adhere to high standards

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A 16-member technical committee has held it first meeting as it moves towards developing a code of practice for broadcasters in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.{{more}}

The committee, which comprises mainly stakeholders in the local broadcasting industry, met at the Department of Telecommunications

conference room in Kingstown, and discussed the purpose and objectives of the code, as well as scope and shape that the document is expected to take.

The committee is chaired by Executive Director of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Bureau of Standards Ezra Ledger and consists Luke Boyea, Darrion Daniel, Bert Francois, Rafael King, Jimmy Prince, Richard Macleish, Reni King, Reverend Adrian Odle, Kyron Duncan, Willis Williams, Roger Dalrymple, Sophi Clouden, Altocha Anderson, Jennifer Bullock and Junior Jarvis.

Addressing the meeting, Ledger said that while broadcasters have a right to freedom of expression and individuals have the right to receive information, the right to privacy and other rights should be protected against defamation and unjustifiable attacks.

“Additionally too, broadcasters need to ensure that the news and public information in whatever forms are reported with true accuracy and presented with due impartiality.”

“We will also urge the stakeholder organizations that it may be useful to form and establish a national broadcasting association that will better serve as an umbrella body for the sector.”

Also addressing the stakeholders was Minister of Information Maxwell Charles, who called the move to address a code of practice document as bold, relevant and timely.

Charles said that based on the broad spectrum of participants comprising the committee, he expected an up to date code of practice on broadcasting.

“As we formally establish this technical committee today, you would no doubt chart the way forward, outline clear and proper objectives to this important code.”

“…It would be quite accurate to assume that all Vincentians are conscious of and are affected or influenced in one way or the other by what comes out of your studios on a daily basis.”

“Broadcasters should adhere to high standards, while maintaining the ability to educate and entertain this young and great nation. You are the public trustees and as such you should endeavor to be honest as you serve the diverse social groups that represent the full communities of St. Vincent and the Grenadines.”

The chairman said he hoped that the document would be prepared within the next six months, but the process could take as long as three years to develop.

The committee will use the broadcasting code of practice of New Zealand and Ireland as guidance, as well as the code of ethics of the Caribbean Broadcasting Union. (JJ)

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