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Dec 7, 2010

Government suspends normal relations with Channel Five

Following today’s Cabinet meeting, the government issued what it calls a press advisory to say that it is suspending normal relations with Channel Five/Great Belize Productions. It cited four reasons for doing so including what it claimed was a failure to air Belmopan Weekly. For the record, that program was in fact aired by this station. The following statement is issued in respect of government’s actions:

“Channel Five will continue to cover the news in a fair and objective manner.  It is our obligation to the citizens of Belize to provide viewers with the information you need about the activities of the government.  It is not our job to cover the government in the way it chooses or in a manner that does not reflect well on the truth.

In the course of doing our job, we will continue to cover the government’s action and efforts.  We will endeavor to tell their side of the story, so that you can make informed decisions about government actions.  There are many pressing issues facing Belize, and every citizen needs to be engaged in the debate and to understand how we, as a community, will face these issues.  We will report the news and we will continue to present our other programs with the same objectivity that we have had.

If the government can take this action, it will have a chilling effect on the coverage of the news.  In a democracy, the press has an important role in telling its viewers the news.  Media coverage improves transparency in government.  This action will have the opposite impact.  If the government can take this action against Channel 5, they can take action against any news organization or reporter. Of course, this will decrease transparency in government and is not a wise step for a healthy democracy.”

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66 Responses for “Government suspends normal relations with Channel Five”

  1. Common Sense says:

    Quest – it is not an argument on bias or political party favoritism. I dont know of any of the media houses that are truly independent, and just report the news without comment. The main argument has to be freedom of speech, and our dictator seems to be trying to curtail this freedom.

    First Channel 5….then who?

    brief answer – anyone that so much hints at a portrayal of this government in less than a favorable light. Freedom of speech and expression is essential to democracy….the guiding reason behind the implementation of the European Convention on Human Rights in the 1950s was to ensure a similar dictator such as Hitler could not rise to power again. Am not sure if the Convention is implemented in Belize, but it is Articles are certainly very persuasive within our Country and the rest of the world.

    Freedom of press is our main “check and balance” – the Executive and Legislative Branch are all powerful, our Judiciary is crumbling and overpowered, our loyal opposition is just as corrupt as our government……without a free press we are screwed.

  2. karla says:

    As a UDP supporter i have to love more my country than my party and this is definetely bad. Every day it is more difficult to defend the PM…. What is he thinking ??… This type of fight and energy we should see him do with crime in our country and not MUTE on his government that sometimes i think there is already ingobernability with crime taking over the country. Maybe a presss release on a plan how to fight crime is where their attention should be..Leave freedom of the press alone…

  3. CEO says:

    Dean This is a bad move! So if you can’t control them you maline them! I respected you as a wise man but you have much to learn. No democracy behaves this way.

    This is your last term in office I am sure because you actions will not garner you the necessary votes next time.

  4. Media Law? says:

    Quest has made his point that Channel 5 needs to do objective news reporting, and Common Sense you are right, none of the media houses are truly independent. I’d like to think pure objectivity is impossible, but some media outlets in Belize definitely strive for it more than others.

    Reporting commentary as news is WRONG. The Government suspending normal relations with Channel 5 because of biased news reporting is WRONG.

    What we need here is MEDIA REGLUATION. The organization for Broadcasting in Belize needs to implement some codes. News stations should clearly draw the line between commentary and news. If the government feels that they have been subject to libel, then pursue that specific matter in court. But if regulations aren’t set in place, I can see us having problems going about the law when it comes to the media.

  5. blvnjah says:

    I THINK ALL THE MEDIA OUTLETS SHOULD STAND BEHIND CHANNEL 5, IF ONLY ON PRINCIPLE, BECAUSE THIS CAN HAPPEN TO ANY OF THEM BY ANY GOV’T, IF LEFT UNCHECKED.

    DEAN’S ENABLERS NEED TO GROW SOME #$@LS AND STOP WORRY ABOUT THEIR ‘SEAT’ AT HIS TABLE AND START THINKING ABOUT WHAT THIS MAD MAN IS DOING TO THE COUNTRY.

  6. K says:

    Media Law

    Educate yourself. These regulations are already in place and the govt trying to censor a media house is a GRAVE VIOLATION of this process. This type of thing only happens in countries led by DICTATORS.

    Freedom of the press is important to human voice and defense of humanity. These are our basic rights and we are willing to fight for them. Barrow and his lunatics have no idea what can of worms they have opened.

    They can keep their corruption in terms of drug smuggling, human smuggling, sale of Belizean nationality and theft of innocent civilians BUT they will not mess with the people’s VOICE. We are ready for a REVOLUTION!

  7. Clet Montejo says:

    P.M. and his minions called ministers are on something really serious. These guys need help. Can we afford two more years of this lunatic bunch. The media must be kept free. We demand it. Our democracy hinges on it. Channel 5 keep doing what you are doing. Barrow betta stop i fool. We di get enough. Get us going you go be so sorry…… We demand our freedom and will do anything to retain it.

  8. vigilante justice 316 says:

    Hahaha, looks like channel 5 has lit a fire under lang face Barrow’s @$$! You can tell a lot about a man just by looking at him and from time I could see the deceit boiling under the surface of this hide behind sunglasses Barrow. I saw this article on channel 7 news yesterday but there was no place for me to make a comment about this lunatic and his dictatorship tendancy, thank God for channel 5.

    Now that two face has shown his true colors I need to get a gun and start target practice because if these lunatics think that the people will fall into subgugation without a fight they got another thing coming! Give me liberty or give me death and freedom of speech is no exception to that rule!

    Mr. Barrow, actions speaks louder than words and your actions are what have given you away; not anything that channel 5 has printed about you…. to those stupid dean supporters who have their head in the sand, Wake up before you lose your freedom you idiots!

  9. rootsman says:

    How bad will this suspension of relations hurt channel 5, what are all the ramifications? Is channel 5 going to lose revenue by this? Are they going to be denied access to public information? If channel 5 has broken the law and the GOB has evidence of this is it not the right thing to take them to court and have the matter settled there instead of Mr. Barrow being a vigilante and using intimidation tactics.

  10. Elgin Martinez says:

    What about freedom of the Press Mr.Barrow? Why you trying to intimidate these people? You can go to the House and call members of the opposition JAKASS but Channel Five is not suppose to report on the BS that you and your affiliates are doing?

  11. Al says:

    Mr PM, I see this sanction as a communistic move, not the kind of thing that happens in a democratic country. Look at what is happening in Haiti this week. YOu may have this on your hands soon hope you are ready.

  12. erassmusb-black says:

    power corrupt and more power corrupt even more………that been said, since Belize copy everything American then take a page from the American style government and make the primeminester serve for four years with a limit of two years max, with the ability to recall any elected official that way the people will have more power in the government and not all the crooked politician

  13. Darius Martinez says:

    Barrow, this is a stupid move and will only draw unfavourable local and international reaction to this decision by your government.

  14. Manford says:

    If you can’t stand the smoke/heat stay or get out of the kitchen; absolute power/ absolutely corrupts.

  15. Freedom house guard says:

    This is a frightening development. One would imagine that with all the turmoil being created by Wiki leaks, Governments would wise up and move towards transperancy. As an old adage goes: “We never elect the smartest people.”

  16. Voice says:

    Wheel Barrow beta relax e self. We the people are getting fed up of him and his set of ragging dogs. Dean this is the a very stupid move, Ms. Moya was right you don’t have balls. You are just a coward hiding behind all the guilt and when its almost in the light you belittle your government and make a stupid decision. We the people all know your entire government is corrupted. We should have a general election tomorrow so we can vote u and ur lunatics out of power. Maybe pup was corupted but your government say “GI ME WAY”……. You are not a man and most definitely not wise. I may be very young but i am damn sure i know that you’re just a coward and a selfish man who all he cares about is his own self and not the people. If you are a man that you say you are You would stop this nonsense now with Channel5, and allow them all the privilege all other media’s have. Like everyone else they have a job to do. Any terrorist in Beautiful Belize wants to take Dean Barrow out for the betterment of the country????

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