Pres. Granger urges GPA to discipline “out of line” reporters
By Devina Samaroo
President David Granger on Sunday, January 14, 2018, called on the Guyana Press Association (GPA) to discipline reporters who are “out of line” in the execution of their work.
“A professional media corp. must have the ability to discipline its own members when they go out of line or breach media ethics. That’s the responsibility of the corp. itself and that’s why we need a strong GPA so that when individual members breach the code of professional ethics, just like the Bar Association would call in a rogue lawyer … equally the GPA must be able to call in its errant members and instruct them or guide them how to behave,” President Granger stated during his annual media brunch which was hosted at State House – the official residence of the Head of State.
President Granger also expressed that the GPA must ensure that new members of the media are aware of the journalistic ethics.
“People who come in without learning must be cautioned against vulgarity. There’s no reason why newspapers must be writing headlines like ‘testicular fortitude’,” he stated, in clear reference to a column published in the State’s newspaper – the Guyana Chronicle on Sunday.
Shortly after the Head of State made the remarks, the Guyana Chronicle pulled the article from its website. It was written by trade unionist, Lincoln Lewis.
President Granger also boldly declared that the media must ensure it does not publish “fake news”.
“We acknowledge that every person has some bias [but] we must try to be objective…Don’t publish fake news. Don’t allow your bias to take the place of objectivity,” the President stated.
Further, the Head of State pledged his commitment to ensure the GPA has the resources it needs to ensure the media community benefits from training exercises which can improve the quality of stories being broadcast and published.
GPA’s Vice President, Zoisa Fraser, who delivered a statement on behalf of the Association’s President, Nazima Raghubur, said the body remains committed to initiating programmes of training for it members. Fraser said the GPA will be focusing on initiating training on the oil and gas sector and territorial sovereignty.
“The Guyanese media needs to benefit increasingly from more exposure to issues about our borders. In this regard, the Guyana Press Association seeks the support of the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces in facilitating greater understanding and appreciation of our border locations especially the one to our west. We specifically ask that you use your esteemed office to have the Guyana Defence Force facilitate visits by groups of media personnel to that border area during this year,” Fraser stated.
She explained that such an initiative would aid in creating a better understanding of the media and the wider Guyanese community who may never get an opportunity to visit that area.
The GPA President is on a work-related trip overseas.