It’s unfortunate that today Bahamians are now faced with the prospects of increased taxes, more unemployment and a degraded quality of living due to the poor, ill-reviewed decisions made by the Prime Minister during last week’s budget communication.
It’s also clear that the Free National Movement and its leader in their anxious mode concocted the worst budget in the history of the Bahamas. One would be wise to ask the question if the FNM had intended for this particular budget to be published?
I can go on about what’s wrong with this budget but I will address one particular matter which disgusts me above all. Over the past few years, I have gotten to know the staff at the Broadcasting Corporation of The Bahamas on a personal level. Prior to this, I was one of those critics who didn’t think too kindly about the performance of ZNS or the quality of its programs. However now having seen first hand and understanding what is placed before these people I now know better.
I have a deep respect for the majority of staff there (especially the long-serving ones) who on a daily basis turn water into wine. I am amazed to say the least of how it is possible that under such archaic conditions the staff there are continually able to produce news reports and other programs.
It’s an insult that an entity that was established long before this country gained its independence is now being faced with a degraded and undeserving exit from mainstream media. Given the right tools and conditions I can honestly say that ZNS can compete with any media company here and abroad. I believe that the attractiveness of the corporation for new talent has diminished tremendously over the years because of the overbearing Government control that is known to exists.
It’s no secret that the Broadcasting Corporation of The Bahamas has been used for political points for many years and it continues to this day. However if this proposed transition to public service broadcasting be the end of the matter as indicated by the Prime Minister, let it be done with dignity. To pin the misfortunes and shortcomings of ZNS on to its staff is a deceptive card being played by this current Government. To unceremoniously slash the Corporation’s budget by 50 percent is a careless and unfair decision by the Prime Minister.
I believe that this extreme decision (as reflected in the budget) was made because there is a view or a perception by the Government that there is no public support for the corporation. I wish to remind Mr. Ingraham that public perceptions can change very quickly when the entire truth is told. The truth is that the advancement of ZNS depends heavily on the Government and if there have been any shortcomings by the corporation it’s merely a reflection of the performance of the Government. The truth is that whatever reasons given by the Government for the manner in which ZNS is being treated could have only been created by those in power. Why should the staff suffer for following orders?
I see nothing fair about this budget. It’s all nonsense and irrational. I would hope that the public look beyond what ZNS has become, lay aside what things appear to be and learn the truth for themselves before casting judgment. ZNS has a good staff and a mixture of talented people who do the absolute best of what they can under conditions of which they are not responsible for. Let’s give them our support.