I have a healthy respect for our sister newspaper, the Stabroek News. I was once a columnist with that newspaper. Like Kaieteur News, it has its faults; like Kaieteur News it has its virtues. The Stabroek News is important to Guyana and no one should doubt that. But the Stabroek News did not do justice to its credibility this week.
It published an interview with President Granger in its special monthly section named, “Guyana Review,” a review of which should be scathing, trenchant and condemnatory. No one with a little training and a modicum of experience in journalism should accept the content and shape of that interview.
Where was the editor when he read the final product? He had to hold it back, if he edited it because he had to know it was embarrassing.
The publication of this interview came one day after an ABC journalist asked President Trump a question, which Trump refused to answer initially because Trump said his press conference was called to discuss the renewed trade deal with Canada and Mexico.
The journalist asked a question on the Kavanaugh controversy. Trump told her his press meeting was on trade but the journalist did her work competently. She zoomed in on the story making the rounds in the US – the Kavanaugh scandal. She persisted. That is what journalism is about.
In an interview that took up literally four and a half pages, at the end of it, the readers learnt nothing about Mr. Granger’s thought on the cascading controversies that continue to envelop his administration. I have written about this before and I am repeating – of all the presidents – Burnham, Hoyte, Cheddi and Janet, Jagdeo and Ramotar, Mr. Granger had the most disappointing and controversial first year in office.
I lived under the first year of all of Guyana’s heads of government. The most exciting first year was under Burnham in 1964 and Jagan in 1992. Hoyte is closely behind them. The first year of Janet Jagan, Jagdeo and Ramotar was uneventful. Under Granger’s first year, the comparison doesn’t favour him.
Soon after coming in to power, the Cabinet big wigs gave themselves a substantial pay hike. It was terrible politics at the wrong time.
The Stabroek News’ interview came after three years of Granger in power. In those three years, the slips, lapses, mistakes, imbroglios, scandals, controversies, wrong directions have been enormous. There isn’t one; I repeat, not one question in that lengthy interview on these situations. It simply boggles the mind to know that journalism could be so pathetic.
Unless you are a propagandist working in the media who does not care about journalistic credibility, then you can conduct an interview with a president or prime minister like the one we saw in the Stabroek News. But every journalist must understand that the president or prime minister of a country is the most powerful person in the land and the journalist’s role is to find out what are their thoughts on the decisions they make that affects the life of every citizen.
Where does one begin in this ocean of bad management of President Granger? Above, I mentioned the immediate pay rise after the 2015 election results. A few weeks ago, speaking to the media, Granger justified the increase saying that it was necessary for them to do their job. That is an answer that leads to a minefield.
How that journalist missed asking Granger about the abandonment of the Carter formula for selecting the GECOM chairmanship? The formula may have been defective but Granger’s replacement method is far more pregnant with trouble.
Not a word was asked about Granger’s nonsensical (and that is putting it mildly) excuse for not holding regular press conferences (two after three years, now a third one recently).
In a country where over seventy percent of the population is under thirty-six years of age, Granger downgraded the Ministry of Youth and made it into a department within another ministry.
A significant percentage of Granger’s selection of high state personnel consists of persons beyond sixty-five and some in their seventies. The latest is Dr. Vincent Adams, an American-Guyanese retiree who is in his early seventies. The GECOM Chairman is 84.
More than two-thirds of our diplomats are beyond 65. The journalist didn’t even touch momentarily on these contradictions.
Why that interviewer who is a journalist didn’t put Granger on the firing line on the question of the Hinds/Lewis exit from the Chronicle? Both men have told me that they believe Granger had a hand in their removal, an opinion I share. One hopes other journalists will avoid the pitfalls of this disastrous interview.
Pres. Ali putting water meters on the citizens in Berbice, and not meters on Exxon oil pumps.
Dec 03, 2023Kaieteur Sports – Recently, the Cricket West Indies (CWI) High Performance Unit (HP) and the Guyana Cricket Board (GCB)/Harpy Eagles Franchise (GHE) held an historic meeting when the CWI HP...
Dec 03, 2023
Dec 03, 2023
Dec 03, 2023
Dec 03, 2023
Dec 03, 2023
By Sir Ronald Sanders (The writer is Antigua and Barbuda’s Ambassador to the United States and the Organization of American... more
Freedom of speech is our core value at Kaieteur News. If the letter/e-mail you sent was not published, and you believe that its contents were not libellous, let us know, please contact us by phone or email.