Nov 06, 2013 News
Three reporters attached to the Guyana Times and TVG-Channel 28 yesterday resigned after refusing to read a scandalous television news item about Publisher of the Kaieteur News, Glenn Lall.
Leana Bradshaw, anchor/reporter of the entity, handed in her resignation with immediate effect, following an editorial meeting which was held to discuss her refusal to read the news item about Lall on the previous night’s newscast.
Bradshaw’s resignation was followed by that of Whitney Persaud and Sabatini Daniels, two other reporters who were in full support of their colleague.
In a press release, the trio explained that Bradshaw, after being instructed to read articles about Glenn Lall, respectfully declined.
However, she was told by the Guyana Times General Manager, Daniel Singh, during the aforementioned meeting, that once reporters are employed by the entity, they must follow the instructions given.
After providing her seniors with the reasons for not wanting to read the news item, Bradshaw was told that journalists who refuse to do what they are told can “pack their traps and leave”.
Without hesitation, Bradshaw formally resigned, as did her colleagues – Daniels and Persaud, who believed that Bradshaw was right in standing her ground.
Bradshaw, during the meeting, was also told that if religion is the reason behind her not wanting to read certain stories, then she can “go to her pastor” for employment.
The trio has also refuted reports carried by sections of the media which stated that Bradshaw, in fear of retaliation from the Kaieteur News boss, expressed her willingness to voice the script once her face was not shown on television.
“She did not say that,” one of her colleagues stressed.
The young ladies said that their resignations were part of their fight to uphold the journalistic principles and ethics that they’ve learnt over the years in the media and through the University of Guyana’s Centre for Communications Studies.
They believe that “while those who write such articles are not in the spotlight or given credit for their writing, the anchor and reporters are forced to put their voices and images to the content of the stories they believe go against their professional values and credibility”.
The reporters said that they have taken the stance to not be included in the ongoing personal rhetoric between the Guyana Times’ Dr. Ranjisinghi Ramroop and the Publisher of Kaieteur News Glenn Lall.
They contend that “implicating reporters in the personal vendetta…. is threatening their personal lives and character”.
Another employee of Ramroop, Ariana Gordon, who, up until two weeks ago, served in the post of Public Relations Officer to Queens Atlantic Investment Incorporated (QAII), was also forced to resign after refusing to get involved in the Glenn Lall versus Ranjisinghi ‘Bobby’ Ramroop issue.
Meanwhile, Kaieteur News Publisher Glenn Lall, reacting to the resignations, said that it all came about because of the exposure of the shady deals involving former President, Bharrat Jagdeo, and his best friend Dr. Ranjisinghi ‘Bobby’ Ramproop, who both own Guyana Times/TVG/Radio Guyana.
“The exposé that we have been carrying has them running scared; to date they have not responded to any of the shady deals that we have exposed, that robbed and continue to rob this nation of billions of dollars. Instead, they have resorted to personal and unfounded attacks to the extent that they are libeling me on a daily basis,” Lall said.
“They have moved from libeling to labeling me a murderous monster,” he added.
Lall believes that the aim of the Jagdeo/Ramroop group is to have harm done to him and his staff at the Kaieteur News.
“The whole country would remember that as sitting President, Jagdeo tried to endanger my life by falsely claiming that I was snitching on other businessmen,” Lall declared.
According to Lall, it is very clear that the attacks on his person are designed to divert the attention of the Guyanese people from the siphoning off of billions of dollars into the pockets of a few.
“We will remain focused on our God-given duty, which is to bring the truth to the people of Guyana. We will not stop, as there are more exposures to come… starting from this weekend,” the Kaieteur News Publisher said.
He also expressed surprise at the level to which Editor of the Guyana Times, Nigel Williams has descended, noting that he (Lall) had always thought highly of Williams when he was a reporter at the Stabroek News.
Several journalists of the Guyana Times/Evening News have expressed full support of their colleagues’ resignation.
“This has been creating unease in the newsroom,” one Guyana Times reporter said yesterday.
As the news of the resignations became known, several persons took to social media to congratulate the trio.
TVG/Guyana Times reporters’ statement on resignations
“The resignation by three reporters of Television Guyana/Guyana Times follows on the heels of their fight to uphold the journalistic principles and ethics that they’ve learnt over the years in the media and through the University of Guyana’s Centre for Communications Studies.
However, added to this, the reporters took the stance not to be included in the ongoing personal rhetoric between the Guyana Times’ Dr. Ranjisinghi Ramroop and the KN boss Glen Lall.
They contend that implicating reporters in the personal vendetta, as is evident, is threatening their personal lives and character.
While those who write such articles are not in the spotlight or given credit for their writing, the anchor and reporters are forced to put their voices and images to the content of the stories they believe go against their professional values and credibility.
The anchor who was instructed to read the articles respectfully declined but was told in the newsroom’s general morning muster on Tuesday by Daniel Singh, who is the General Manager, that once reporters are employed by the entity, they must follow instructions given or “they can pack their traps and leave; the door is there”.
By refusing to comply with reading such stories, he then made it clear that by this, she is indirectly tendering her resignation. She thereby felt this was her cue to leave, given that the company cannot compromise on such reasonable grounds.
Her two colleagues then stood by her and for what they believed in as well, and also tendered their resignation letters, lest they be placed in the same position subsequently.”
Guyana Times/TVG statement
“Leana Bradshaw, a reporter employed at Guyana Times/Television Guyana (TVG), Channel 28, resigned on Tuesday, citing fear for her safety in light of a recent series of explosive, investigative articles and reports carried by the newspaper and the Evening News about Kaieteur News’ owner and publisher Mohan Lall, aka Glenn Lall.
Two other female reporters also resigned, apparently in sympathy for their colleague’s fear. The resignations were submitted Tuesday to management following an editorial meeting involving reporters and staff.
On Sunday, the reporter had initially met with an editor and explained that she had serious fear and reservations reading a story about Lall on television, as she believed she could be identified and targeted, being one of the news anchors for the television station’s newscast.
Later that afternoon, when the reporter was told to read the story, she demurred and subsequently without the knowledge and approval of the editor, proceeded to excise the story about Lall from the newscast for the Sunday Evening News.
“I am of the view that reading such articles puts my life at risk, as persons can associate the content with me, contrary to the newspaper reports where no by-lines are given or faces shown,” Bradshaw said in an email communication to the editor.
So great was her fear of retaliation from Lall that Bradshaw told her editor that she was willing to voice the script once her face was not shown on television. This was confirmed by one of her colleagues who quit in sympathy. Bradshaw’s stance showed she had no substantive problem with the script, but reacted out of fear.
That expression of fear was repeated at an editorial meeting and was further supported by one of the reporters who quit. The management of Guyana Times/Television Guyana regrets the decision taken by the reporters and wishes them well for the future. “It is indeed a sad day when journalists have to operate in fear of certain personalities because they dare to investigate them and make public their findings,” Guyana Times/Television Guyana (TVG)/ Radio Guyana Inc General Manager Daniel Singh said.
“Journalists ought to be able to do their jobs without any fear of consequences at the hands of those whom they publish stories about,” he added. “I take this opportunity to wish them well and thank them for their services to Guyana Times/Television Guyana.”
Singh added that, even after her complaints, one of the editors of the media group met with Bradshaw and assured her of the company’s support as well as for other staff members who feel threatened. The editor also held similar discussions with all three of the reporters, minutes before they left the office, following their resignations.
“Journalists ought to be able to do their jobs without any fear of consequences at the hands of those whom they publish stories about,” Singh stressed. The management of Guyana Times/TVG/ Radio Guyana is in the process of bolstering security for its staff in view of this recent development.”
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