There are two huge signs painted on the outer façade of the building housing the offices and printery of this newspaper. Both of them bear the logo, “Kaieteur News”. There is no “For Sale” sign listed beneath.
This newspaper is not up for sale. We will not compromise on what we stand for; we shall not prostitute ourselves in order to survive; we will maintain our present course and stick to what we believe in regardless of the obstacles that we are facing and will face in the future. Our soul is intact; our conscience is clear.
We have come a long way. We were called all manner of names when we started. We were even described as a tabloid. Others called us a rag. Today that “rag” is now the flag-bearer of press freedom in Guyana, leading the way to expose the wrongs that are taking place within our country. We not only survived. We rose to the top, and we did this despite the fact that for ten years we were denied government advertisements.
We have taken our knocks. We have felt pain. We did not close our doors when our printery was firebombed during the crime wave. We did not close when five of our workers were mercilessly executed. We saw ourselves as making a contribution to this country by ensuring that the citizens have the facts from which they can make enlightened choices.
It was only because of the ordinary people of this country and the extraordinary guts of the publisher of this newspaper that Kaieteur News is where it is today, and can proudly boast of having the highest and widest readership of all newspapers in Guyana.
We would like to let those who wish to relegate us to foreclosure know that they are too incompetent for this task. We have seen through their ploy. We are reading their every move even before it is made and we shall stand firm in defence of this newspaper.
As we had reported months ago, after we broke the story of the privatization of the Sanata Complex, the powers had indicated that measures would have to be found to “deal” with Kaieteur News. We were thus on our guard for the anticipated manoeuvres. We have on more than one occasion alerted the media and the international community to the aggression being launched against this newspaper.
Right now there is a bottom-house campaign taking place accusing this newspaper of not reporting on the government side of issues in the news. This is a blatant lie. This newspaper has been doing that and in fact this newspaper has bent over backwards to ensure that the government side of every issue is reported.
So facilitating has been the Kaieteur News that after the columnists of this newspaper were accused of attacking the government, we allowed two pro-government columns to be carried so as to give the government the right of a response. No other newspaper has ever done this.
We provided them with space to respond to our columnists, all in the interest of fairness.
Which other newspaper has afforded to all political parties in this country, a weekly column? None.
The right to response seems however not to have been the issue, but rather just the excuse to move against this newspaper. Suddenly, however, and without any notice, both of those columns are no longer being submitted to this newspaper. The Parrot has flown off to the Chronicle and Blame the Government has disappeared.
On top of this, this newspaper is now being accused of ordering its reporters not to carry the government side on an issue, a totally wicked and false accusation. This is all to paint this newspaper as not carrying the government side and thus justify what we believe is the imminent withdrawal of government advertisements from this newspaper.
We are also being falsely accused of fabricating news, and all because we accepted an invitation to report on government projects so as to ensure that taxpayers are obtaining value of money. Our investigative journalism has brought home the reality to Guyanese people and for this we are being bad-mouthed.
More disturbingly, this newspaper is being accused of being anti-government and of wanting to bring down the government. We know where this is coming from and we know where it is leading.
A few weeks ago there was also an attempt to “set-up” Kaieteur News to carry a report, which would have inflamed national tensions. Our reporters however, did their work and discovered inconsistencies in the story and thus we carried the story along with our reservations.
This newspaper is being set up. The public is being fed a daily dose of anti-Kaieteur News venom so that when the time comes for the more decisive action, the groundwork would have been laid. We wish to let the Guyanese people know that we shall not betray their confidence. We shall not compromise what we stand for. We shall remain faithful to our readership, whatever the price to be paid. We are not for sale. Buyers are forewarned.
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