Kaieteur News – The Kaieteur News should refuse to attend the weekly press conferences hosted by the General Secretary of the People’s Progressive Party/Civic. These weekly events have descended into the throwing of tantrums against the Opposition. They do not serve the purposes ascribed for press conferences.
In a previous column I had said that press conferences are meant for addressing important national issues and those of topical importance. Press conferences should not be misused as platforms for political attacks and responses to criticisms.
The PPP/C began holding these press conferences after the APNU began to host virtual weekly press conferences. As such, what is taking place is that the media is caught in the crossfire between these two political parties and find themselves having to scamper from one press conferences (virtual) to another (face-t0 face) with the latter intended to counter what was said at the former.
The PPP/C makes no bones as to the intent of its weekly press conferences. It has said that PPP/C needed to, “kill some of the rumours that this country has grown accustomed to [and that are] being peddled by the Opposition and their affiliates.”
The PPP/C had called on its supporters to respond to critics of the government on social media. The weekly press conferences therefore represent a political blitz of a party and government which is under siege from its critics.
Should the media be conscripted to providing a forum for this sort of propaganda from Jagdeo? And should it have to attend the weekly press conferences by the Opposition?
I also questioned whether the media should be obligated to attend these conferences and become conduits for what is perceived as political propaganda. The media should feel under no compunction to have to attend these sessions, and to endure them even if in the hope of eking out some previously unknown facts.
Nothing of real value comes of these press conferences and this is evident in what is reported in the press after the media has to sit and listen to an extended opening statement.
The only useful information that came out of last week’s press conference is that the court papers were served on Su. But even here it was not clear whether it was served on him directly or vicariously.
It was suggested that instead of hosting weekly press conferences, the PPP/C instead should convey their messages through press releases rather than monopolizing the media’s time with weekly press conferences. The media should insist that press conferences be reserved for significant announcements and to demand greater access to public officials.
Why should the media have to attend weekly press conferences only for the PPP/C General Secretary to counter something that was said earlier at another press conferences or to respond to some criticism of the government? Is this what press conferences have been reduced to?
For the media to subject itself to this weekly dose of diatribes and tantrums of the General Secretary of the PPP/C is to court disrespect and abuse. But the situation gets more sordid when one observes the utter disdain, bordering on hostility, shown to Kaieteur News reporters.
Kaieteur News has consistently been at the receiving end of the tantrums of the General Secretary of the PPP/C. Their questions are most often than not deflected by his comments that he has dealt with that issue before and that the Kaieteur News is repeating itself.
This is Jagdeo’s pitiful defense for failing to provide satisfactory answers to issues such as the interest rates which Guyana will have to repay for Exxon’s investment. Anyone taking a loan and having to make repayment would want to know what interest rate is being changed. But onto now the PPP/C government cannot indicate the interest rate that is being charged, and when the question is asked, the media is told that the issue has been dealt with before.
When some other awkward question is asked, it is suggested that the reporter seek the answers from either the Guyana Revenue Authority or the relevant Ministers concerned. The media corps in Guyana would, I believe unanimously agree that many of the Ministers of the PPP/C administration, do not have a stellar record of accessibility by the media.
The reporters of Kaieteur News have expressed concern about the treatment which is meted out to them at these press conferences The manner in which the reporters of Kaieteur News are treated is terrible. The publisher should no longer subject his staff to this sort of disrespect. He should refuse to send his reporters to the PPP/C press conferences.
(The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions and beliefs of this newspaper and its affiliates.)
Pres. Ali putting water meters on the citizens in Berbice, and not meters on Exxon oil pumps.
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