Wednesday, January 27, 2016


Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Linyon Sanzman leaders met this morning at 10 am with the board of SBC to discuss the grievances of the opposition with regards to SBC’s bias in favour of Parti Lepep and the exclusion of the voice of the opposition or divergent views.

The meeting which lasted 2 hours discussed several pertinent issues including:
  •  Linyon Sanzman’s disappointment at SBC’s total disregard with respect to its obligations under the constitution in particular section 168 (1) which states that “the State shall ensure that all broadcasting media which it owns or controls or which receive a contribution from the public fund are so constituted and managed that they may operate independently of the State and of the political or other influence of other bodies, persons or political parties.” The board was further reminded of clause 168 (2) that “the broadcasting media referred to in that clause shall, subject to this Constitution and any other law, afford opportunities and facilities for the presentation of divergent views.”
  •  Linyon Sanzman’s disappointment at SBC’s total disregard with respect to its own act which stipulates the Board’s role under section 9(2)(b) in “safeguarding the citizen's right to be informed freely, truthfully and objectively on all matters of public interest, national or international, and presenting a fair and balanced flow of information including contrasting views without advocating any opinion or ideology of its own” and that it will ensure that its programmes “generally do not outrage public feeling or create ill-will between different public groups” – under section 9(2)(n)(2).
  •  the lack of any progress with regards to implementing reforms proposed by the Reilly report since 2007 including some which were to be done forthwith and remain unimplemented to this date
  •   the total bias in favour of Parti Lepep on a day to day basis especially when it comes to “news” and “news extra” citing several examples where no divergent views were sought on matters of government policy, allegations of arson and in fact in almost every aspect of daily events which are reported by SBC.

The SBC board noted the above concerns and admitted that they have several weaknesses to deal with and cited that they also have some resource constraints.

Linyon Sanzman asked SBC to show goodwill immediately by airing the views of Linyon Sanzman leaders tonight in the national news on the issue of SBC’s impartiality. Linyon Sanzman also asked that SBC should adopt a fair approach in future by ensuring that all future news and programmes should fairly reflect divergent views. It was suggested that there should be regular programmes such as “Face a Face” programmes featuring opposition views in an objective manner.

Linyon Sanzman also asked that SBC make an effort to provide live coverage of the forthcoming constitutional court petitions on the election results. SBC stated that they could not provide live coverage but will consider airing regular reports on the case proceedings.

Both parties agreed to meet again on Thursday Feb 4th 2016 at 10 am in order to further pursue the case of ensuring that SBC’s bias towards Parti Lepep stops forthwith.