Let me say upfront, the future of my relationship with Stella will depend on her response to this column. Failure to offer me an apology will prevent any future amicability between us. I take this poignant stance because I was not impressed with Stella’s intellectually impoverished column, (KN, Wed, March 23); “Freddie, go stand in a corner.”
In all seriousness Stella, that column of yours shows you are not familiar with the inner threads of journalism and your capacity to analyse the nuances of my social commentary is still to be developed. In the form that I submitted, my article titled, “I know why the Government did away with prescriptive rights”, only one paragraph was on the squatters that live opposite to my residence.
My essay had one theme – the Government wants that prime real estate where the squatters are and the abolition of prescriptive rights means that will happen. To back up this opinion I revealed that I saw a survey done of the land. That happened. I saw GPL removing the electricity supply. That happened. This was carried as a news item in KN. But GPL removed illegal connection since there was no official supply by GPL. Thirdly, I saw GWI removing water lines. That was right but water was not cut off to the squatters.
Stella, let me say unambiguously, I stand by the journalistic integrity of that column. According to you, your “bossman” didn’t think my article had journalistic soundness and that it “hurt the credibility of the newspaper.” Let me tell you what has hurt the credibility of KN – the Sunday front page story that shouts out that the squatters call me a liar and then your Wednesday column. Both are expressions of terrible journalism.
The Sunday ranting by KN over my column caught the eyes of the Canadian expert who is currently in Guyana conducting workshops for the reporters of the private media – both print and electronic. In discussions with him, Mr. Nick Fillmore told me he did not see any connection between my commentary on prescriptive rights and what KN reported on the squatters. There is no such connection. It appears Stella that only you and your “bossman” see that. I will send you Mr. Fillmore’s e-mail address. Talk to him Stella and learn a bit about what journalism is all about.
I once told you Stella, you have to be in Guyana to comprehend its complexities. My colleagues in the media know that KN’s reporting on the matter was bad. This includes some of my work-mates at KN. Let me educate you now Stella about journalism. I did not write about eviction. The KN reporters went to the squatters and asked them about that and inquired if they got eviction notices. Secondly, the squatters were questioned as to if I interviewed them. I did not do a column on the squatters and therefore had no need to speak to them.
I responded with a letter of clarification to which was attached at the bottom an editorial note saying I was there when KN interviewed the residents and I heard the answers and didn’t object. Don’t believe everything you read Stella. You are old enough to know that. I was not there when KN met the dwellers. Adam Harris called me to say he was there. From town, on my way to work, I stopped and in the presence of Harris and the Prime News photographer, two inhabitants of the same house spoke to me. They explained that the entire group is being denied electrification. That was the only conversation I had with those residents -two of them. Then I left for UG.
Mr. Nick Fillmore told me he would speak to KN’s personnel. I told him he should request to see the tape to hear what questions were asked. The next day, he indicated he did have discussions with KN. It would not have been appropriate ask about the outcome. Interesting to note that the same day your “bossman’ sent KN reporters to do journalistic investigation on my work, Mr. Fillmore had completed a course on investigative reporting in which KN journalists were present.
Maybe you should talk to Mr. Fillmore, Stella. Now Stella, explain for me the following statements you made about that specific article of mine. 1 -“Freddie’s journalistic ethics were certainly lacking in the column.” 2- “Freddie must acknowledge his shortcomings in the offensive column.” 3- “Freddie messed up big time.” It is you that messed up big time, Stella by exposing your limited intellectual understanding of journalism. I will not acknowledge anything that was offensive. Nothing in that column was.
I am waiting to hear from you Stella. You have seriously exposed your intellectual limitations to your fans and readers. They would expect you to defend yourself. I end by hoping that you are not so naïve as to do other people’s bidding for them, Stella. I am not so sure of who you are, now that I have seen your true colours.
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