Recently there was an exchange on a BUblog which debated the merits and demerits of issuing a TV license to the Starcom Network. Perhaps there is another debate which Barbadians need to have as it relates to the tedium an applicant to the Barbados Broadcasting Authority (BBA) to procure a broadcasting license must ensure.
We came across the story of Terry Bent who has applied to the BBA to start-up a radio station called Paradise FM “to help boost tourism, promote the BTA and its events (for Free!) and make Barbados more appealing in these hard times. I will also be providing employment for Bajans, yet all I ever get is “shortly” what annoys me more than anything in life is being lied to, and at the moment it happens every time I try to deal with the Barbados Broadcasting Authority. I actually think they are hoping i will just give up and go away!“
BU does not intend to bash the BBA undeservedly but there is merit in anyone dealing with the BBA to expect an acceptable level of professionalism and by extension; efficiency. We hope Terry is able to extract a final position from the BBA sometime before 2012! Terry in our communication with him was very clear he has a problem with an inefficient BBA and NOT the government.
Allegations seem rife that an insidious creep is taking place on some Barbados Radio call in programmes, this has manifest itself in decent citizens being talked down to, inference that they have no intellect and the views they hold are due to a lack of analytical rigour. It is even believed that an agenda which is at odds with the majority Christian views held by Barbadians is being held in contempt.
No one would expect free licence be given to malicious, slanderous or vindictive comments without challenge on a major programme, but when opinions sincerely held are treated with contempt and callers are made to feel that they are being patronised, this is not only bad manners but calls into question the impartiality which should be exercised by a competent chairman.
The general public does not want to know the views of the chairman he is there to “facilitate” a sensible discussion over a range of subjects…all of which he cannot be an expert. He is there to ensure balance to what is being discussed thus allowing listeners to be better informed on completion of the programme, he is not there to be “victorious.”
During the recent press conference held by Prime Minister David Thompson he was asked by a member of the studio audience what he intends to do about the PSV sector. The person who asked the question expressed the concern that despite the effort to clean-up the PSV sector, it continues to be a law unto itself. An example to show that the ZR culture is alive and well is the lewd and sexually explicit lyrics which they continue to play on their illegal audio systems.
Prime Minister David Thompson in his response to the member of the studio audience promised that he will be addressing the vexing issues which continue to emanate from the PSV sector in the upcoming budget scheduled for May 18, 2009.
The perennial lawlessness which has been displayed by the PSV sector, specifically ZR’s, has been the bane of successive government’s regulatory and social policies. The inability of the PSV sector to self-regulate combined with the lack of political will by successive governments to ‘calm’ the sector has created a monster which now threatens to destabilize our society. John Public has known for a long time that a major contribution to the problem in the PSV sector has been the concentration of ownership by politicians, lawyers, prominent businessmen etc.
This group of owners have become very influential which has led to wide spread corruption by officials responsible for regulating the sector.
Prime Minister David Thompson has announced the names of members to 12 other boards
He says cabinet is working assiduously to get the various boards in place so that the essential work of government would continue apace. Insurance executive Leroy Parris has been appointed as Chairman of the Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation, his deputy chair is Jeanette Layne-Clarke. Other members on the CBC board are Peter Boyce, Evette King, Pastor Wesley Dear, Father Clement Paul, Muriel Sealy and the Permanent Secretary in the Prime Minister’s office or his nominee.
We have always wondered through the years, the criteria which successive governments in Barbados have used to appoint persons to several Boards of management charged with overseeing many of our important institutions. One such agency which has been perceived by the public to have been managed like the proverbial political football is the Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation (CBC). We are inclined to go along with the view that successive Barbados governments have erred on the side of caution by appointing a party lackey in light of the aversion of governments in developing states to relinquish control of state owned information entities.