‘Radio Bartica’ goes live
President David Granger on Saturday, November 18, charged the residents of Cuyuni-Mazaruni (Region Seven) to ensure that the voice of every citizen is heard as he launched ‘Radio Bartica’, the region’s first radio station at the Bartica Learning Centre. It is being broadcast over the 95.1 frequency.
The President said that as the station comes into operation, its content should reflect access for every citizen, appeal to every member of society, raise awareness on important social issues, a release from the Ministry of the Presidency noted.
Mr Granger said that the day marks the opening of a new but important chapter in public information in Guyana and for the region of Bartica.
“We are interested in communicating with people where they live and work and we have to be realistic. We fought hard for Local Government Elections and when we speak about regionalism, we speak about empowerment at the local level and March 2016 was the turning point for development in this country.
“The people had no say in how the community was administered. Development has been hampered because of the failure to involve the ordinary people, because of the lack of information, investment, infrastructure, and innovation. Without information, there will be no development and that is why we have placed special importance on the public information system. We are developing public information to achieve certain specific targets. It is not a sideshow. It is central to development,” the President was quoted as saying in the release.
Mr Granger urged the operators of the radio station to seek to raise awareness on issues, which hinder the development of the country or those that require a collective effort.
“When I speak about awareness, I speak about social cohesion. This is a work in progress and we have to continue working and believing. Unless we work to make it a reality, we will slip back and become divided. This is a multicultural society, it will always be and we must accept our multiculturalism. This radio station must help to generate that awareness of each other. I think that we need to have programmes, which are integrated and socially cohesive,” the President was quoted as saying.
He also urged them to pay attention to minority and vulnerable groups of society, whose voices are most times stifled.
“In everything we do we have to think about minorities, not just the ethnic but gender and those who are challenged in one way or the other; people in remote areas, people who live along rivers must be able to have access. We must hear all voices [because] that is the purpose of Local Government and Local Government Elections so that everyone can get access.
“Public information is equivalent to public interest. The people must know what is going on in their communities. They have a right to information. Information must not be treated as a preserve of a small group,” he said.
The President also said that every individual hired to work at the radio station must exhibit a sense of responsibility and respect for ethic and integrity as he noted that the public information systems are not organs for the spreading of propaganda but rather a medium for objective discourse and communication.
Meanwhile, Regional Chairman, Mr. Gordon Bradford was quoted as saying that it is a historic day for the region and town. The Government, he said, must be praised for the initiative as it is a dream come through for the town.