Deputy Prime Minister – Sam Condor
Photo By Erasmus Williams
Basseterre, St. Kitts – Nevis
October 26, 2009 (CUOPM)
A call for WINN FM to adhere to proper broadcast standards has come from Deputy Prime Minister Hon. Sam Condor.
In a statement explaining recent statements aimed at WINNFM, Deputy Prime Minister Condor said he has deep respect for the fundamental tenets of free speech and hold no resentment or criticism from the people who oppose him.
“I welcome the gains from constructive criticism,” said Mr. Condor, who noted that he has had on occasions during the on-going political campaign, to make certain statements criticizing WINN FM radio.
“As it turns out, there are some persons who are of the view that my words were too strong. My purpose of course is not to offend,” he said.
He said his statements were prompted mainly due to his genuine concern regarding the fact that this Radio Station is somehow allowing poor journalistic and broadcast standards to colour some programmes.
“Almost on a daily basis, the hosts of the “Voices” Programme allow certain callers who either have little knowledge regarding issues, or who are being deliberately malicious, to say things which are clearly false and misleading and no efforts are been made to correct, set the record straight or challenge the authenticity. In addition, where the truth or facts are known to the Station and to the public in general, the hosts fail to remind the listeners of those facts,” said Mr. Condor, who is also Minister of Information.
“This to my mind, this suggests bias on the part of the hosts on a Station which claims to be independent and committed to high standards. It is therefore my view, that the Station is allowing itself too often to be used to peddle false and misleading statements and half-truths, and also the demonstration of persons in public life. This surely does not speak to good journalism, and is totally unacceptable,” said Minister Condor.
He said his response to WINNFM Bert’s David comment during his interview on the BBC was motivated by the same concern as Mr. David interjected murder figures in answer to a question which did not require that response.
“Bias and the lack of professionalism prevented Mr. David from informing the regional and international audience that the murder rate was not as a result of Government policies. The bias closed his eyes, ears and mouth to the fact that the Privy Council restraints on the ultimate death penalty had effectively removed the deterrent to murder. Mr. David would not touch on the Government’s outstanding record in housing, its significant achievements in the areas of education, healthcare, infrastructural development and economic development. Mr. David pretended to be unaware of developments at the Southeast Peninsula and Frigate Bay,” said Deputy Prime Minister Condor, who was of the view that among other achievements, Mr. David “could more appropriately have said that Labour has built thousands of new homes, and created hundreds of new jobs for Nationals; instead, he chose to say something negative about our Country. That apparent lack of good journalism and patriotism is what is hurting.”
Mr. Condor said the murder rate is too high and neither he nor any other Minister of Government has ever denied that. “But no Country puts abroad negative things about itself, or washes its dirty linen on international airwaves, when there is no reason to do so! Most countries including those in our Region like Barbados, St. Lucia make every effort to downplay negative situations; why can’t we, who truly love and mean well for this Land of our Birth. Why glorify the negatives and present the world with a bad impression and destroy our Economy?”
He hoped the statement is “able to clear the air somewhat and perhaps twinge a conscience here or there. I do not wish WINNFM or any Radio Station for that reason any ill; that is why I have actively supported such licenses.”
“I hope however that the Management of WINNFM will make greater effort to improve the standards of that Station, and let decency and decorum reign,” said Deputy Prime Minister Condor.