The Government of Belize has suspended normal relations with Channel 5 and Great Belize Productions effective immediately. A release from the Govenrment press office gives four reasons for this action. One, that the media house under its current owners and management has wilfully and systematically violated the terms and conditions of its licence under the Belize Broadcasting and Television Act. Two, that it is the only local television station that has refused to air the government produced video program, Belmopan Weekly which is a violation of clause 19 of the Belize Broadcasting and Television Act. Three, the station has over the past two and a half years proceeded down a deliberate path of systematically undermine not just the government but the interest of the entire nation and its people. According to the release in the process Channel five has wilfully sacrificed the established principles of objectivity, fair play and balance in its news and other current affairs program. The final reason given for this drastic measure is that given the direction the station has taken in its news reporting and other programming, this government sees no value, purpose or justification in attempting to maintain with Channel five the kind of relationship it has sought to cultivate and nurture with all local media for the overall benefit and wellbeing of the nation and people. The suspension of relations means that effective immediately no government representative of any ministry or department will give any official individual interview or make any individual appearance on Channel five. The release ends by saying the government stands ready to resume normal relations with the media house as soon as it demonstrates a willingness to comply with the law and conform to the established standards and principles of fair and objective journalism and programming as stipulated in the terms and conditions of its licence under the Belize Broadcasting and Television Act. When we contacted CEO of Channel Five and Great Belize productions, Amalia Mai she said her staff has an obligation to the country and will continue with its programming.

LOVEFM