Broadcast stations: government-dominated; the state owns and operates two radio stations broadcasting on multiple frequencies capable of reaching the entire country; government limits on licensing of new private radio stations continue to constrain competition (2007).
Licenses and competition: In 2009 the Court of Appeal ruled that the government had an unlawful monopoly on the airwaves and was not adequately considering radio license applications. In 2011 the government approved applications for ten new radio stations, although the process was controversial and lacked transparency. By year’s end 2012 only one new station had begun operations, and it was closely aligned with the government.
Press freedom: The government controls most radio stations, which limits the dissemination of diverse views and open public discussion. The NGO Reporters Without Borders criticized press freedom in the country in 2012, due largely to its radio broadcasting monopolies.
Censorship: No government-imposed restrictions on television stations or suspensions of broadcasts in 2012. The government largely directs advertising to media houses aligned with the governing party. The government continues to exert heavy control over the content of the National Communications Network (TV), giving government spokespersons extended coverage, while limiting participation of opposition figures.
There are no government restrictions on access to the Internet or credible reports that the government monitors e-mail or Internet chat rooms without judicial oversight.
The law provides for freedom of speech including for members of the press, and the government generally respects this right in practice. Government officials use libel laws to suppress criticism. A hearing into a 10 million Guyanese dollars ($50,000) libel suit filed by former President Jagdeo in July 2010 against the Kaieteur News publishers, its editor in chief, and one of its columnists began in August 2011 and remained pending at the end of 2012. The law prohibits arbitrary interference with privacy, family, home, or correspondence, and the government generally respects these prohibitions in practice. A 2008 law allows for the interception of communications through a warrant issued by a judge, exceptions being in the case of a national emergency or where approval for a warrant is impracticable due to the urgency of the matter.