I don’t know what else has to be accomplished for SN and Kaieteur News to show the normal courtesies for the Office of the President and President Jagdeo in particular. Let us get straight to the matter.
President Jagdeo was given the highest award by the United Nations Environmental Programme. By now you would know that the President received the Champions of the Earth Award from the UNEP for his outstanding contribution towards combating the cataclysmic effects of global climate change. The Award for the President came on the heels of other significant recognitions of Guyana’s pioneering and aggressive policies on sustainable economic Green Growth through the LCDS.
The President has been recognised worldwide for the Guyana Model and for Guyana’s leadership.
On Tuesday 27-04-10, President Jagdeo returned to Guyana from Seoul (where he received the UNEP Award) via Brazil where he attended a Brazil/CARICOM meeting. All the media outlets were advised that there would be a reception at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport. A few hundred people turned out and the President was warmly received.
Despite no advance warning about the reception upon his return to Guyana, the President delivered an informative and uplifting speech on this country’s role in the global drive towards Green Growth. The President was warmly received and he reciprocated by embracing a wide cross section of those in attendance.
Yet, two self-described independent dailies in Guyana – Stabroek News and Kaieteur News —were not up to scratch. Let me deal with Stabroek News first, because that newspaper did not carry a single line on the event. I repeat; not a single line.
I am dumfounded by this. I combed through Stabroek News (Wednesday April 28) for its coverage and came up empty handed. Nothing! Zilch! Not a line.
I called the newspaper to get an explanation. The official line is that “we missed it”. How in the world could a major newspaper like Stabroek News miss a major event like that? I called around and was reliably informed that Stabroek News was indeed notified. In addition to the usual circular from GINA, phone calls were also made to the newspaper. But Stabroek News did not show up.
Kaieteur News did a much better job, but there was something quite unusual in its coverage. The page 13 story was carried under the title ‘2010 ‘Champion of the Earth’ awardee returns to grand reception’. Awardee – with a common ‘a’? Hello – that ‘awardee’ is the President of this country and he and his office should be treated with much greater respect.
How about – ‘President Jagdeo returns to warm reception after UNEP Award’. It that really too much to ask of this independent paper?
Incidentally, the Kaieteur News story was juxtaposed to another story under the title ‘Plaisance man found dead in trench after beating’. Do you think that this juxtapositioning was an accident? Those of you who have read Philip Agee know different.
I will simply end by noting that while the President was receiving a prestigious international award, the independent dailies here, and Kaieteur News especially, were carrying columns and letters calling for aggressive protests on the streets.
You, the reader, should exercise your own independent judgment and decide who is actually on the right side. You should decide if you want economic development or protest on Regent Street and Avenue of the Republic.
Dr. Randy Persaud
Editor’s note: Sycophancy is best suited to the state media. A newspaper selects the news that its readers would best appreciate.
Further, an awardee is an awardee. There is no distinction between them. Barack Obama is a president and not a President.
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