Monday, October 25, 2010

Even in the great U.S of A, freedom of speech is not so free after all.

-especially where it relates to personal opinions aired via networks

Terrence Greaves: In a piece appearing in the Kaieteur news, of 21.10.10, it is reported that Guyana has slipped 20 points down the ratings of press freedom, citing the given reasons for such a demotion as one relating to radio monopoly and strained relations between the President and the media. While I am not au fait with the criteria applied by the France-based, Reporters Without Borders, the authors of the report, it is rather surprising that the great United States of America, that bastion of democracy, where freedom of expression is sacred, is in the first twenty nations of this report. Their position ought to be paramount, given the vibrancy of, and the right to, a free press as is often there, extolled. Having said this, the writer wishes to refer to three incidents surrounding the sacking of three prominent CNN commentators, who were accused of making comments that were not in keeping with their organisation’s policy.
One of the commentators was accused of offering his opinions, instead of his official slot as an analyst in which he had been expected to put issues in their correct perspective. The other two prominent faces were terminated for controversial statements on topical issues in that North American country.
There is this held belief among the general citizenry of Guyana, and especially among some opposition figures, that freedom of expression is an absolute. Definitely, as so many judicial decisions/opinions would have shown, it is not! This most sacred tenet of democracy must be executed in a very responsible manner without prejudice and offence. Apart from the fact that there are policy guides that govern the conduct of electronic personalities. So even in the great America, freedom of speech, as so often referred to, by some prominent media personalities locally, is not so free after all, especially where it relates to personal opinions aired via networks.

1 comment:

  1. An they try to deem Guyana every time some one for the media is either rejected from enter a press briefing or is pick up over something he/she said well i hope they reading this post to see that America int even ranking with Guyana when it comes to freedom of speech but yet still some of your own paint a bad pic when it comes to that.