NCN CEO instructed to issue apology to News Anchor
Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo who also has responsibility for the State Media has instructed the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the National Communications Network (NCN) to tender an apology to Ms. Natasha Smith, for using her pregnancy as a reason to temporarily remove her as News Anchor.
Despite denial from the CEO, Lennox Cornette that Smith’s pregnancy was the reason for removing her from anchoring the 6 ‘O’ clock News, the Prime Minister said from information received and explanations given by the said CEO, “I am in no doubt that the removal of Ms. Smith was due to her state of pregnancy, and that the act is an attack on her as a woman and as a professional journalist.”
In a statement on Wednesday, he out rightly condemned the act.
“It agonises me to get involved in what is an NCN management matter but, as a journalist and as a parent, I refuse to be silent on this occasion,” he said.
The Prime Minister noted that his government stands for full gender equality and the rights of women to work, nor must their free choice to be married or to remain single or to bear or not to bear children be trampled on.
He further applauds the media fraternity, human activists and others who came forward in condemnation of this act of discrimination against Ms. Smith.
Miss Smith returned to anchoring the news on Wednesday evening after being pulled off for approximately one month. Her return to the screen was prompted by a protest in front of the State-owned Television on Tuesday and a subsequent meeting between the Guyana Press Association and the management of NCN.