…names released yesterday after query
The government, over the weekend, refused to disseminate the list of national awardees to Kaieteur News, as it did for other media outlets, indicating a deliberate attempt to deny this newspaper access to the information.
Editor-in-Chief Adam Harris described the action as petty, vindictive and a clear indication that the government can never tolerate a free and investigative press.
The list of national awarded was only sent to this newspaper yesterday when Harris enquired whether the government had taken a deliberate decision not to release the list to this newspaper.
When Kaieteur News began highlighting a number of Government projects which brought official corruption to the forefront, the government started to significantly reduce advertisement to this newspaper.
Kaieteur News publisher Glenn Lall immediately took a decision to run Government advertisements for free in the public’s interest.
The announcement of the national awards was made via whole page advertisements in the state-owned and controlled Guyana Chronicle and the privately owned Stabroek News. On Sunday, in a story it carried on the awards, the Stabroek News quoted the Government Information Agency (GINA) as having supplied the list.
The list was not sent to the e-mail of Kaieteur News, its editors, or any reporter on Saturday and neither was it sent on Sunday.
When Kaieteur News Editor-in-chief Adam Harris contacted the editor-in-chief at GINA, Shanta Gobardan, she said the list was sent via e-mail Sunday afternoon. However, neither Harris nor this newspaper never received it. Detailed searches failed to find any evidence that the list was sent.
Kwame McCoy, the Information Liaison Officer to the President, was involved in the dissemination of the list. He said he did not release the list early on Saturday because it was embargoed and he did not want the information to be leaked before Sunday. However, the information was released, officially, to the other newspapers before Sunday, so they could have carried the story on the very Sunday the announcement was made.
McCoy further claimed that workers in Kaieteur News’s advertisement department could not be contacted, and so the list was not carried in the Sunday edition as it was in the other newspapers.
However, Kaieteur News’ Editor-in-chief Harris said that many times before he was personally called “at any hour” to get advertisements in the newspaper at the last minute, but even this was not done in the case of the national awards.
The information was only released yesterday when Harris made the calls to GINA and the Office of the President.
President Jagdeo has been a fierce critic of this newspaper, even while suggesting that the media should expose corruption.
In his Independence Day speech, Jagdeo said that it is right that the media are free to express their views within the law. But he said it is irresponsible to spread innuendo and untruths about law-abiding individuals and legitimate businesses.
“It is not the Government who suffers when this happens, but our entire country through a national reputation that is damaged by the desire to be sensationalist,” Jagdeo said.
However, he said the media should be “the scourge of the corrupt, the lazy and those who break the law” but should avoid the easy line of lies and distortions that damage those who are creating a better Guyana.”
Taking President Jagdeo at his word must have been the reason for the non-receipt of the list of national awardees when the others did.
Nov 15, 2018On Sunday last, Head of the IKD 9th Dan Shuseki Shihan Frank Woon-a-Tai, 8th Dan Shihan Maureen Woon-a-Tai (IKD Vice-Chief Instructor) and 8th Dan Shihan Bernice Hughes, assisted by Amir Khouri 7th...
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