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Fwd: Kaieteur News Editorial on radio in GT

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    Sorry, this came back to you VC. Vibert Cambridge wrote: Date: Wed, 04 May 2005 15:28:44 -0400 To: C F From: Vibert
    Message 1 of 1 , May 4, 2005
      Sorry, this came back to you VC.

      Vibert Cambridge <cambridg@...> wrote:
      Date: Wed, 04 May 2005 15:28:44 -0400
      To: C F <cpn125@...>
      From: Vibert Cambridge <cambridg@...>
      Subject: Kaieteur News Editorial on radio in GT

      May 4, 2005

      Hello Cornel:



      Kaieteur News, May 4, 2005   

      Radio in Guyana is not what radio should be

      The fastest and most reliable medium in the world of broadcasting is the radio. For starters it is cheap, convenient and all prevailing. Gone are the days when a radio was a cumbersome piece of equipment that had to be holed up to a battery that lasted a few hours.

      No longer are tubes integral components of radios. Electronics are the order of the day. As a result, the radio is just about everywhere. People drive to work or for pleasure and the radio is there keeping them company.

      What makes the radio the instant messenger is that when coupled with the telephone, it readily provides the listener with information. A crime occurs somewhere and the radio is often the first to bring the news. This is the case elsewhere except Guyana. And the Guyana situation is a recent development.

      There was a time when Guyana had the best broadcasters in this part of the world. Many of them eventually left to occupy top postings in other countries, including some of the most developed in the world.

      In those days television was unheard of in Guyana so electronic broadcasts featured some of the better reporters who had to be trained to tell the story to the listener by using words that conveyed vivid images. There were live broadcasts from scenes of disasters, voice clips of actual events and on-the-spot eyewitness accounts.

      Today, radio in Guyana is often the last with the news because there are no enterprising reporters at the state-owned facility. It could be that resources are limited so reporters cannot reach locations as readily as some smaller and even more cash-strapped organizations.

      One can understand the preponderance of Government news on the local radio station because it is government-owned. But news is more about what the government says and does. To make it credible the news should be about other happenings in the country but perhaps that is the policy of the radio station.

      But there is the quality of the broadcaster. There was a time when a broadcaster was someone to be emulated. He stood out in the community. People liked what they heard and they heard good English, excellent pronunciation, and good voices. They learnt from these people.

      Today, we have broadcasters whose sex seems uncertain. Men suddenly sound like women speaking a language that is passably English, given the poor pronunciations and bad grammar. The accent is certainly not Guyanese in most cases so we have young people listening to the radio hearing people who sound like Jamaicans or some person from the Eastern Caribbean, or someone from somewhere over the Atlantic; everywhere else but Guyana.

      One would have expected that with radio being a scarce resource, it would have been put to better use. Radio is best when it is used to entertain and to inform. In Guyana there can be no doubt about the entertainment value since the broadcasters seem to be best suited as disc jockeys in a night spot.

      However, the information aspect of radio is not what it should be in this country that is going through difficult times. This may be because of the poor programming and because of the quality of the presentation that often leaves people at a loss.

      Up until recently, there was no single entity that was prepared to sponsor the newscast on radio. There must be a valid reason for this state of affairs and that reason had to do with the quality of what the sponsors saw as being presented as news.

      Some years ago private citizens sought to establish radio stations in Guyana only to be told by the government that the present radio station cannot withstand competition and that the state-owned radio station needed to be improved. It is taking a long time for that improvement to take place.

      In fact, it is getting worse. Perhaps the radio station is a reflection of the quality of education in the society but then again, it could be that the people selected to work with the radio are exactly whom the state wants.

      Whatever the reason radio in Guyana is certainly what radio should be either from the public's perception of the broadcasters or from the news reporting.

      Vibert C. Cambridge, Ph.D., Chair
      Department of African American Studies
      Ohio University
      Telephone:  740-593-9178
      Fax:  740-593-0671
      web:  http://www.ohiou.edu/aas/
      email: cambridg@...

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