Bahamas Government Bias
Government Type: Constitutional Parliamentary Democracy and a Commonwealth Realm
Leader: Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Philip Davis
Political Party: The Progressive Liberal Party ( PLP)
Political Position: Center-Left
Although, according to trust.org, it rarely occurs, under the Bahamas Penal code, Defamation/Libel law criminalizes both negligent and intentional libel, with six months to two years in prison. More on this; please see here.
Freedom House reports that a social media personality was charged with libel in 2019 for allegedly posting insults and defamatory statements against a former cabinet minister. The International Press Institute has been urging the Bahamas since 2012 to respect press freedom, especially during “election season.” Further, the opposition Progressive Liberal Party reportedly “has called for the abolition of the criminal libel laws from the early 1980s and has continued to do so.”
Media Ownership and Government Analysis
Media in the Bahamas consists of privately owned media outlets and government-owned public service broadcasters and their outlets.
Privately owned media examples include the country’s leading newspapers, such as the Nassau Guardian and The Freeport News, owned by Emanuel Alexiou and Anthony Ferguson. According to Bloomberg, Emanuel M Alexiou is also the Vice-Chairman of Colina Holdings Bahamas Ltd and a board member for Edmond de Rothschild (Bahamas) Ltd. Another leading newspaper is The Tribune, founded by Leon Dupuch and owned by the Dupuch Family. It is unclear after the death of the late owner who currently owns it, as ownership information lacks transparency.
According to the BBC, the state-owned Broadcasting Corporation of the Bahamas (BCB) operates ZNS TV and several radio stations. ZNS TV is the official public broadcaster of the Bahamas and has a monopoly over broadcasting as it is the dominant TV station in the Bahamas.
In conclusion, the Bahama’s government has direct control over the media outlets, primarily through the state-run broadcasting media, which can limit criticism of the government. On the other hand, privately owned print media provides diverse viewpoints. Still, they may also serve the political interests of their owners depending on their ties with political parties, especially when the ownership information lacks transparency. Finally, criminal libel law infringes on the right to freedom of expression and can be politically motivated.
Last Updated on April 30, 2022 by Media Bias Fact Check
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