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No free airtime for political parties on IKTV – Manager

No free airtime for political parties on IKTV – Manager

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If IKTV is to continue broadcasting “Plain Talk”, a five-minute television programme which featured lawyer Jomo Thomas, the programme will have to be paid for.{{more}}

Managing director of IKTV Dwight “Bing” Joseph told SEARCHLIGHT on Wednesday that it is the policy of his television station not to give free broadcast time to any of the political parties.

“I don’t want to give any one political party the advantage,” Joseph said.

He, however, made it clear that any politician or political party who wanted to buy time, could.

“Any politician who wants any airtime is welcome,” the managing director said.

Joseph said “Plain Talk”, a hard hitting television commentary, which aired on weekends, just after the popular “Unrendered” programme, had been running on IKTV for in excess of two years.

“He brought great content and was very controversial,” Joseph said of Thomas, who was sworn in as a Government senator on September 19, 2013.

“There were even times when he cursed me and the station, but I never edited his comments out or stopped it,” Joseph explained.

However, last Sunday, while being interviewed on the Unrendered programme on IKTV, Thomas stated that the policy of the television station was unfortunate, especially since he was trained in journalism.

“That is the unfortunate thing that I have heard on IKTV’s position, because I’ve been on this station now for some time,” the senator said.

“I don’t know if people know me well enough…I have a first degree in journalism. I’m a journalist. I would not come on to IKTV to promote my political view or my party’s political view or to slam the Opposition,” Thomas said.

He, however, noted that he is happy that viewers are now aware that the choice to stop airing “Plain Talk” came from the television station and not the governning Unity Labour Party.

“It is good that it is finally out there, that Jomo Thomas wasn’t silenced by his party, that IKTV decided to turn off the lights on “Plain Talk”,” the senator said.

“I’m not happy with the policy, but you all made a decision and that’s fine with me. I thank IKTV very much for the time that I had a chance to share with listeners and I know that many people have liked the programme,” he said.

The policy of IKTV is not unusual.

Saboto Caesar, a former columnist in SEARCHLIGHT, published the final installment of “Full Disclosure” on February 12, 2010, after he was sworn in as a Government senator on January 19, 2010. Caesar’s column had been running in SEARCHLIGHT since July 6, 2007.

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