Chronicle’s Chairman apologises for ‘offensive’ editorial
- disciplinary action likely
“This article still should not have passed the Editor’s desk and eventually went to publication…. I believe that as a matter of principle that this event will more than likely result in some resignation at the board level.” – Keith Burrowes
Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Chronicle newspapers Keith Burrowes has expressed regret at an editorial published titled “Opposition rampages to sow disunity the country, and which had posited that African Guyanese youths were socialized by the opposition to be violent and racist towards Indian Guyanese.
The Guyana National Newspaper Limited (GNNL) editorial was published on July 3, 2012, which caused condemnation from several organizations and prominent citizens.
“I sincerely regret this article ever being published and wish to apologize to all the persons both locally and overseas who may have been offended or affected…Though I was not directly involved in the oversight of this publication nor was I aware of its contents, this article still should not have passed the Editor’s desk and eventually went to publication,” Burrowes noted.
Having said this, Burrowes said it’s abundantly clear that the views expressed in the publication by no means represent the majority of shareholders, the Board nor the Management and staff of Chronicle.
“I’d like to think that over the past few years we, as a media house, have been striving to make certain professional and impartial publications published in our daily prints. We have given our utmost to ensure that our publications over the years were geared towards promoting racial harmony amongst our citizenry.”
Burrowes explained that he has always tried to keep a high moral and professional code of ethics in providing factual and balanced reporting.
“It should be noted that the action has and will be taken against those (the Editor –who was on duty – and writer of the article) who were responsible for this particular publication and if it is found that there were others who contributed to the article, the relevant disciplinary actions will be taken.”
“At this time I’d like to take the opportunity to assure our readers and all Guyanese that additional steps have been taken to ensure that there isn’t a similar recurrence. I believe that as a matter of principle that this event will more than likely result in some resignation at the Board level.”
The incendiary editorial claimed that young Black youths are “socialized” by the opposition to rob and murder Indian Guyanese. The editorial concluded that “hatred of Indians is ingrained in their psyche.”
In a statement issued on Saturday, the Working People’s Alliance (WPA) said that such statements in the editorial emanate from a racist mindset that has long characterized part of the national discourse on race relations in Guyana.
The party had also called for a boycott of the Chronicle.
“The editorial represents both an assault on the dignity of African Guyanese and an insult to the intelligence of Indian Guyanese whose fears it purports to highlight,” the WPA said.
“An editorial that sets out to speak against racial division has ended up doing more damage to the cause of racial unity than any in recent times.”