Riding…

…with the hounds
Caretaker President David Granger, in a vain attempt to cover up his DPI withholding State ads to punish the private media, claimed he was really “supportive” of a free press. They quoted a statement of his from 2016: “Independent media act as watchdogs of the Government. They promote transparency by ensuring that information is provided to the public on the work of the Government”. Your Eyewitness won’t rehearse the hypocrisy of that claim but contrapose the state of journalism in the free press versus the State press – the Chronicle – which is the remnant of the free press which Burnham had nationalised back in the day during his communist foray. We’ll check which of the two practices “fairer” journalism is.
The MotP announced the standard: “Fairness and balance are the hallmarks of good journalism. Fairness, in a journalistic context, entails accurate reportage and examining every possible angle and perspective. Selectively using parts of quotes and information to frame a story presents a false and misleading account to readers on that particular issue or person”. They say, “Those in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones”, and if we pick up any edition of the Chronic, the hypocrisy of Granger’s “fairness” criticism of the free press will just jump out on you.
Let’s examine its Friday edition front-page headlines – the day of the MotP’s homily. The banner across the page quotes Finance Minister Jordan, “SALARY HIKE SOON”. Then there’s one quoting the leader of the LJP, “PPP abused, exploited Toshaos”; another emphasising that the President is “An advocate for professional, free press”. The front page pic was of Granger with schoolchildren at President’s College promising them, “Guyana belongs to you”. Not a word about the Chair of GECOM and the Opposition Leader’s pronouncing of the voters’ list – an issue that has transfixed the country – on the same day Granger was at President’s College. Nor about 2000 sugar workers on strike at Albion.
Rather than quoting from any academic sources on journalism – which Granger seems to have forgotten from his days as a Hubert Humphry Fellow – your Eyewitness will cite the everyman’s source: Wiki on the dangers of a state-owned media to fair journalism. It posits: “Within countries that have high levels of government interference in the media, it may use the state press for propaganda purposes: to promote the regime in a favourable light, to vilify opposition to the government by launching smear campaigns, giving skewed coverage to opposition views, or act as a mouthpiece to advocate a regime’s ideology”.
Hasn’t that single Chronic front page a) promoted the regime in a favourable light? b) vilified the opposition? c) given skewed/no coverage to the opposition and d) pushed the regime’s ideology?
The Govt should get out of the media business!!!

…and running with the hares
There is a discussion going on in some quarters about the “value” of the AFC to the PNC going forward into the next elections. “Value”, of course, is a subjective term – which was conclusively proven by the AFC when it insisted it was still “owed” the PM spot on the PNC coalition ticket!! Imagine Nagamootoo and Ramjattan are lawyers and are making this demand from an agreement (Cummingsburg) that is expired and they’re supposed to be re-negotiating!!
Which part of “re-negotiating” they don’t get?? Everything starts sui generis, baby!! And it’s a whole different ballgame from 2011. Then, the PNC wanted “multiracial” credentials, which the AFC had with their 10% in the Indian community. Now? That formulation’s been evaporated like dry ice in the sun!! Ironically, more by the PNC’s actions against that community than anything else! You’d think the PNC was torpedoing the AFC’s chances!!
The new “multiracial” is Indigenous, baby!!

…Trotman’s folly
You think Trotman boasting about getting 50% of profits from the Stabroek oil block – which was 50% of the 25% left after 75% expenses, which is 12.5% — was bad??
Guyana has to pay the oil company’s taxes: 27.5% of 12.5%. Another 3.44% gone leaving us with 9%!!!