On December seventh, government imposed an unprecedented ban on this station. Two weeks later, after discussions, Prime Minister Dean Barrow indicated that at the first meeting of Cabinet for this year, which is on Tuesday, he will prevail on the wisdom of his colleagues to remove the suspension of normal relations. We’re counting down and we hope that in our next newscast, we will be able to get both sides of stories involving the government and that we will be able to talk to ministers and public officers. Just in case you missed it, this is what the prime minister had to say on December twenty-third.
Dean Barrow (File: December 24, 2010)
“I have agreed on the basis of the discussion we had and on the basis of the CEO Mai’s assurances to me. I have undertaken to, at the first cabinet meeting in the New Year, which takes place on the Tuesday of the first working week, ask cabinet to agree to the resumption of normal relations with Channel Five. I will take the position at that meeting that this should be done. I only don’t say that we can do it immediately because I do have to get the support of cabinet. But you will see from what I’ve said that it was a very, very constructive meeting indeed.”
“Regarding the government program, will it be aired on Channel Five?”
“Which government program?”
“The weekly program was mentioned in the previous release?”
“Yes, indeed. The CEO has made it clear that that is not a problem.”
“Was there anything that was proven to be wrong within the previous relations?”
“Well, Miss Mai is, as you know, a very accomplished diplomat and Miss Mai would not in a normal course concede any fault. And I don’t think we want to belabor that particular issue. Let us just say that while we also insisted that we thought, or we saw fault, we have agreed to move on. And there is a commitment on both sides to operate on a basis of mutual respect and on the basis of fair and balance coverage on the part of Channel Five which is indicating that it is not going to do anything to compromise its position that it is a professional operation, a professional outfit that will be guided by a commitment to the canons of the journalism profession. So, I am happy with that and as I said, I am perfect to recommend to cabinet, that we resume normal relations.”
All be told, we look forward to the resumption of relations to continue providing you with our award-winning newscasts and other local programming.