Kaieteur News – If you read any major newspaper in the US or look at any major talk-show, you will see that the nature of the Trump administration is a continuous curiosity. The interest goes on even though Trump lost power almost two years ago.
The explanation is that the Trump administration was such a strange and debilitating US occurrence that the answers to questions will not cease even as the years pass on. Here, there were some letters in the newspapers on World Press Freedom Day and they failed to mention the state of Guyana’s journalism.
The media scene here is scurrilously disappointing. As someone who wrote columns in the golden age of journalism under Father Andrew Morrison of the Catholic Standard, one looks back with nostalgia at that era when one sees the pathetic nature of journalism in today’s Guyana.
One of the great moments in the evolution of this country was 2015. Four analytical perspectives could be used to justify that statement. First, there was a new PNC party that had changed substantially by (1) having a new leader without baggage and (2), teaming up with the WPA.
Secondly, 2015 showed that the dialectics in Guyana had brought about sociological and psychological changes that allowed crucial space for a third party to have strategic placement. Thirdly, the electoral strength of the PPP was weakened with the lost of government. Fourthly, the society was poised for historic changes.
The 2015-2020 dispensation has been one of the biggest failures not only in the Third World but in global politics. Our journalism has failed miserably to record that tsunamic damage. All the major players of the 2015 phenomenon are alive and living in Guyana but our journalism has failed to provide the Guyanese nation, whether in or out of Guyana, with a discourse with any of these men and women of the 2015 phenomenon.
What I read in an interview in a newspaper a week and a half ago must make Father Morrison turn in his grave. A journalist interviewed a well known name in the society and did not ask him about his conduct during the five months of election rigging in which he publicly urged the then president, to cancel the election process and put a halt to GECOM’s functionalism.
I say boldly and without any hesitation that this would not happen in the journalistic function of any other credible newspaper anywhere in the world. This was journalistic incompetence of the worst kind that you can ever imagine.
The questions about the five-year reign of the APNUI+AFC are literally, and I repeat literally, endless. Yet none of the major players have even sought for an interview so history could be recorded. What is even more disgusting is that since it lost power, the AFC has been hosting a fortnightly press conference and not one enquiry relates to those endless questions.
If I decide in this column to highlight some of those questions, they will literally fill volumes. I will just offer some tiny examples in the hope that it invokes your anger about the state of journalism here. Minister Raphael Trotman in February 2017 at a press conference in his capacity as leader of the AFC told this nation he was not made a minister by his own party, the AFC but, he, the Minister of Agriculture, and the president’s son-in-law, were selected by the president.
Only one journalist, Leonard Gildarie of Kaieteur News saw the importance of that extremely curious output to write about it. None of the former leaders of the APNU and AFC since 2017 has ever been approached on the issue. Despite having frequent press conferences, not one journalist has ever asked the leaders of the PNC and AFC what the sections of the renewed Cummingsburg Accord were that had to remain secret.
No journalist has ever asked President Granger what he meant after Raphael Trotman in a local government election campaign meeting in Bartica in 2016 told the crowd that after they had won the election in May, 2015, Granger called him and said, “Raphael, this is Nassau.”
Our journalists are not interested in those pursuits which will make fascinating news. What many of them want to do is score points against the president and his ministers. That is not credible journalism. It is one-sided journalism.
Last year, a prominent journalist stood on the street inside the Giftland Mall compound, I remained in my car with my dog. That journalist and I had a testy exchange on the nature of journalism in Guyana. Since then, I hold even more inflexibly to my position.
(The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of this newspaper.)
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