Writes Carlton Smith, Deputy General Manager of the state owned Broadcasting Corporation of The Bahamas in this Tuesday’s Tribune on why ZNS should be privatized:
Like the major newspapers the public has always linked ZNS News to a political party, more specifically the government of the day. That in itself has compromised the integrity of the organization and in certain cases journalists. It makes it very difficult for the public to believe that the Corporation can be impartial, particularly on political issues.
Many felt that with the coming of private broadcasting breaking the monopoly of the Corporation, it would be forced to change its operation. More than 12 years later it has not happened. ZNS remains a state run organization that despite the intention of any government cannot work in the public interest… [We] now need to work to restore the integrity of the profession. We cannot be in bed with politicians, corporate business executives and other individuals and get the respect and confidence of the public who depend on us to provide accurate information to help in their decision making process.
…Journalists in both the print and electronic media have historically been very vocal about their support for a particular party and that has and continues to undermine the integrity of the profession. [This] is too vital a sector to continue to be used as a transient stepping stone for those with personal agendas and other aspirations. It must be seen as the most important entity promoting democracy while defending the rights of Bahamians.