May 03, 2023 News
– Western diplomats call on Govt., opposition to respect journalists
Kaieteur News – The Ambassadors of the Western countries here have called on the government and the opposition to maintain a mutually respectful relationship with the media in its capacity as the fourth estate and as a vital part of democracy in action.
In a statement to mark World Press Freedom Day today, the Heads of Mission of the Embassy of the United States of America, Ambassador Sarah-Ann Lynch; the British High Commission, High Commissioner Jane Miller; the Canadian High Commission, High Commissioner Mark Berman, and the Delegation of the European Union, Ambassador Rene van Nes said they joined the rest of the world in the celebrations under the theme, “Shaping a Future of Rights: Freedom of expression as a driver for all other human rights.”
This year marks the 30th Anniversary of the UN General Assembly’s decision, proclaiming the international day for press freedom and it brings us to a point of reflection on the state of media freedom in Guyana after 30 years. “As we reflect on this year’s theme, we recognise and acknowledge that media freedom is deeply imbedded within the freedom of expression and all other human rights. The media play a pivotal role in society by disseminating facts for public consumption and helping citizens in Guyana stay informed, establish opinions, make informed choices, and participate meaningfully in society. The availability of facts and information is fundamental to exercising such rights as access to health, education, justice, and to fighting against gender and economic inequalities. The media’s charge to responsibly deliver the facts fairly and without bias to all people, benefits all of society,” the ambassadors said.
In addition to providing access to facts and information, media freedom allows for transparency and accountability, important components for Guyana’s management of resources during a time of rapid growth, the statement noted, adding: “it is imperative that all stakeholders, including decisions makers such as the government and the opposition, maintain a mutually respectful relationship with the media in its capacity as the fourth estate and as a vital part of democracy in action. This means granting the media access to public officials and to information should be the norm. Requests for public information should be honoured. The 2013 Access to Information Act should be effectively implemented to empower the media to do their job.”
The ambassadors said media workers should not be restricted nor have to work under unnecessary duress or risk to their safety in order to have access to information. “They should not face abuse, threats, intimidation or personal attacks in the execution of their duties, nor should they be expected to align with any specific idea, person, entity or political party, whether directly or anonymously. The media’s role is to provide objective and impartial reporting, which is essential to maintaining a healthy democracy and ensuring that all voices are heard. Therefore, it is important that employees of the media are protected and are able to carry out their duties without fear,” the diplomats pointed out.
“We discourage the practice of selectiveness in granting access to information or to public officials under the guise of media bias. As we reflect on the past thirty years of advocacy for media freedom, we recognise that despite how far we have come, work remains. Together we must continue to develop the role that the media play in promoting democracy, transparency and accountability and work collectively to understand the expectations of all stakeholders.
We therefore call on the media, Government, Opposition, and all stakeholders to recognise the roles and responsibilities of the media and its benefits to the people of Guyana. We thank all journalists for their hard work, sacrifice and service to society, and we urge all stakeholders to continue supporting media freedom and promoting a culture of open and honest communications in Guyana,” the statement concluded.
Was Jagdeo honest when he made those promises?
Sep 21, 2023– Warriors face Tallawahs Friday with last spot in finals up for grabs Kaieteur Sports – Man-of-the-match Chadwick Walton cracked an unbeaten 80 as Trinbago Knight Riders (TKR)...
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.