What’s the reason for the reduction of govt. ads to KN?

May 2, 2010 | By | Filed Under Letters 

Dear Editor,
I have noted your notice to readers detailing a nefarious, systematic Government of Guyana campaign to strangle Kaieteur News by drastically decreasing or withdrawing government advertising as a punitive measure.
I have also scrutinized the following statistics which you published on the percentages of government of Guyana advertisements which were placed in newspapers in Guyana from, April 18 to April 24, 2010: Guyana Chronicle – 35.9%, SN 32.1%, Guyana Times: 18.5%, Kaieteur News: 13.5%.
When the PPP government withdrew its ads from SN two years ago, President Bharrat Jagdeo stridently argued to the nation as well as to me personally and a group of Guyanese with whom he met during the CARICOM Heads of government summit, that his government had withdraw ads from SN and had placed them in the Kaieteur News instead, because Kaieteur News by far had the widest circulation among all newspapers in Guyana.
So, what has changed from then to now? This level of decline in government advertisement to Kaieteur has a direct correlation to Kaieteur News’ continual exposure of corruption, malfeasance, criminality and impropriety in the Jagdeo regime, and its sustained policy of investigative reporting that demands governmental accountability.
Suffice it to say that conversely, SN made a calculated decision to capitulate to the Jagdeo regime, and has stunningly become the biggest apologist and appeaser of the Guyana Government, all in the name of the “almighty dollar.” On the other hand, a cursory analysis of SN’s publications would establish that it freely publishes the most vile and baseless of criticisms of the political opposition, as well as opposition and African Guyanese leaders.
It is incontestable that, in the period immediately preceding the reinstatement of government ads, and thereafter, SN strangely pivoted and began to parrot government diatribe without due vigilance or without applying the most basic of journalistic standards. Concomitantly, SN, without hesitancy, now actively censors free speech, by blocking criticism or exposure of criminal, racist or discriminatory conduct of government ministers and officials, so as to appease the PPP ethnocracy.
The obvious quid pro quo for their action is the massive influx of government ads. In the process, SN has conclusively given efficacy to the adage “make a deal with the devil and you will survive,” and have compromised press freedom, journalistic integrity and professionalism.
The aforementioned notwithstanding, I wish to pointedly ask President Jagdeo the following question: Since you Mr. President told the nation, and me personally, that Kaieteur Newspaper has the largest circulation in Guyana, and since you previous used this rationale to divert government ads from SN to Kaieteur News, what is the reason for the current withdrawal and diversion of government ads from the newspapers with the largest circulation?
Rickford Burke

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