Deputy Political Leader of the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), Joseph Andall is calling for fairness and objectivity from media houses in disseminating news to the nation.
Andall believes that certain “elements of the media” are bent on discrediting Congress.
Without singling out specific media house, the No. 2 man in NDC made reference to a controversial statement made by the featured Speaker from Guyana at the party’s post-convention rally about a month ago at the Westerhall School grounds.
Guyanese parliamentarian, James Bond, an attorney-at-law by profession told the gathering that the right to vote was won through blood, sweat and tears by their forefathers and they should put out their children from the house if they do not vote in an election.
There was a loud outcry on the Social Media to Bond’s statement which was also made months ago in his homeland.
According to Andall, some sections of the local media are giving the impression that the contentious utterances by Bond also reflected NDC’s position on the issue.
This, he said is being done notwithstanding the fact that the island’s main opposition party had already explained that the remark was the opinion of the speaker and should not be taken in its literal term.
“It is sad that after several years of schooling, so many people still cannot recognise the use of hyberbole. Bond’s substantive point was about the importance of youth participation in the electoral process; voting is both a right and a responsibility. Unfortunately, it appears that many of our journalists only understand the literal use of language.
“…If we are to take Bond’s statement literally and castigate him for it, where is the outrage by the same people, when Roland Bhola calls for Terry Hillaire’s pants to be taken off and a beating be administered?
We must remember that this is the same Bhola who admitted to taking the law into his hands and assaulting a suspect with a cutlass.
“When Dr. Mitchell told Grenadians protesting the sale/giveaway of Camerhogne Park to go to hell, there was not a word of condemnation from any quarter.
According to Andall if the contentious words in question were removed from Bond’s speech, the message of the importance about the youth participation in the political process should be of concern to every Grenadian, particularly politicians.
“We are disappointed that the opportunity for a serious public discourse on the importance of youth involvement in politics appears to have been sacrificed on the altar of narrow mindedness and political bias”, he said.
“… The NNP has once again failed to sign the Code of Conduct, which is intended for political parties and candidates to conduct the electoral campaign in a civil manner, focusing on issues. There has been no outcry about that”, he added.
The second in command in NDC called for the basic principles of fairness to be observed by all media practitioners in the country as they seek to provide information to the nation.
“Your role is too important to allow yourselves to be conduits for misinformation and deceit”, Andall said.
Speculation is rife that the ruling party is very influential with most of the private media houses operating on the island.