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‘GRTS needs to operate independently’

Jun 15, 2015, 9:43 AM | Article By: Njie Baldeh

Hon. Samba Jallow, member for Niamina Dankunku and minority leader, has said the Gambia Radio and Television Services (GRTS) needs to operate independently of the government and the opposition.

The minority leader made this statement on Thursday before the joint session of the Public Accounts Committee and Public Enterprises Committee (PAC/PEC) of the National Assembly, during a long debate on GRTS’s annual activity and financial report for 2013.

He noted that the “failure of GRTS was caused by the government,” because most of the programmes brought on the TV are government programmes and are free of charge.

There is only one television in the country, yet it has not been functioning the way people wanted it, he said, adding that “even if you give them one million dollars it would remain the same.”

Hon. Jallow added that GRTS is a national TV station, and that it should be fair between the government and the opposition.

He said that when he praises the government in parliament he is featured by the national television, but when he tries to advise the government in the right way he is not featured by the national television.

According to the minority leader, the whole of the presidential tour was covered by GRTS, but when the opposition started their tour, no GRTS coverage was given to them.

“I have travelled to other countries and I have seen the state TV cover both government and opposition activities,” he said.

He also said it was only during Presidential election that the opposition parties are featured on TV, which, he added, “is unfair”.

The PAC/PEC finally adopted the report of GRTS.