President underscores importance of media training

Head of State, President David Granger has underscored the importance of training media personnel to effectively conduct their duties of keeping the public informed.

A section of the gathering at the media brunch hosted on the lawns of State House on Sunday
A section of the gathering at the media brunch hosted on the lawns of State House on Sunday

He was at the time delivering brief remarks at the Annual Media Brunch, hosted at State House on Sunday morning.
This annual event is aimed at improving the relationship between the media and the State, as well as enhancing relationships within the local media fraternity.
The Head of State, in his address just before brunch was served, explained that the media was very important to governance in Guyana, and charged media operatives to stay strict to three principles of professionalism in the execution of their duties.
Firstly, the President noted that education was a critical element in succeeding in any line of work, including journalism.
“I believe journalists should be trained and should have the expertise and have experience,” he stated.
At last year’s media brunch, the President had promised “hard money” to the Guyana Press Association (GPA) to support training of the local media personnel.
However, owing to some issues with the GPA, including lacking legal status and irregularities with its bank account, the organisation was unable to receive the funds.
But GPA President Neil Marks announced that those issues have been ironed out and the body was now in a position to accept the grant.
The President promised to continue to support the GPA, without interference, to conduct media education.

“You have my word for it, and I know I don’t break my word,” he stated.
On the matter of media education, the Head of State pointed out that journalists have the power to shape public perceptions and in this regard, he encouraged that this power be righteously employed.
“In other jurisdictions, you see the danger of false news; you see the danger of the media interfering in the democratic process. That is why it is important that people who are media operatives are trained in the usage of this powerful tool because we can break down Governments and raise up imposters strictly by propagating falsehoods,” he explained.
The second pillar is the media workers’ social responsibility and in speaking on this, President Granger urged that the truth always be told. He also encouraged that stories be balanced in order to keep readers well informed.
“If media is moulding public opinion, they have to speak the truth,” President Granger stated.
The third principle, he said, is that of solidarity.
He explained that each member of the media come from a community in which each person exercises influence on each other. He urged that everyone be aware of the power of these influences and urged that they stay positive.