All parties in St Kitts-Nevis get equal time on State broadcaster
BASSETERRE, St Kitts — The board of directors of the national broadcasting service, ZIZ Broadcasting Corporation, has agreed to give equal broadcasting time to the five registered political parties and any nominated independent candidate ahead of the June 5 General Election in St Kitts and Nevis.
A release from the board said ZIZ Broadcasting Corporation will allocate a total of eight hours of paid programming to each registered political party and nominated independent candidate, adding that for the first time advertising from all political parties and candidates will be aired on ZIZ.
“ ZIZ will also allocate an additional 30 minutes per day, free of charge, to each registered political party and independent candidate, the cost of which will be borne by the State, as a gesture of goodwill.,” the release said.
It added: “The landmark decision by the board marks a watershed moment in the almost 60-year history of ZIZ, as well as a significant step forward for election campaigning in St Kitts and Nevis.
“The board encourages all parties and candidates to take advantage of this offer that will give voters the opportunity to be exposed to differing views and perspectives on matters of public concern.
“The board also takes this opportunity to reaffirm its commitment to ensuring that ZIZ Broadcasting Corporation informs and engages its large and growing audience while adhering to the highest standards of broadcasting.”
The board said it is expecting that any message aired on ZIZ TV and radio would be of a high standard and free from libel, slander or breach of privacy.
A political analyst said for decades, Opposition parties have had difficulties accessing the State-owned broadcasting corporation during political campaigns, and viewed the action of the ZIZ board, appointed by Prime Minister Dr Timothy, as a victory for press freedom.
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