Friday, April 4, 2008

PNC's STABROEK NEWS censoring Government speeches

Hypocritical Stabroek news complaining about lack of
Government ad and freedom to publish yet they
censor news and speeches from Government Ministers

Not surprising for an anti-Government pro-PNC rag

Stabroek News has not always covered my statements and speeches
April 3, 2008
Dear Editor,
Stabroek News in response to a letter from Kwame McKoy and published in its March 30, 2008 edition claimed that I have “limited my accessibility to Stabroek News reporters.”For the benefit of readers let me clarify. Stabroek News reporter Mr Nigel Williams had secured many an exclusive and lengthy interview with me at my office on a range of issues relevant to my portfolio.We enjoyed an excellent minister/journalist relationship.
However, suddenly a noticeable change in Stabroek News reporting was observed, the Ministry of Home Affairs, the police and the Guyana Prison Service became victims of persistent and shameless attacks, criticisms and condemnations in editorials and other stories published in the Stabroek News. These attacks, etc continue to this day. In many instances the attacks were personal. When asked for an explanation Williams told me he had no control over the editorial policy of his newspaper.
Interestingly, I don’t see Williams around any longer. He no longer calls me. Apparently, Miranda La Rose along with Heppilena Ferguson and for a short while, Jenelle Carter replaced him.
There are numerous press releases, letters to the editor, and public pronouncements made and released from my office and from other public places that were ignored by the Stabroek News for one reason or another. I have never made an issue of it. However, now that the opportunity has presented itself three recent examples will suffice.
I refer to a letter I wrote on January 21, 2008 concerning the weapons that cannot be accounted for by the PNC, a statement issued on March 14, 2008 addressing the PNC’s claim that the police are acting outside of the law, and a speech I made at the launch of the Citizen’s Security Programme at the Grand Coastal Inn on February 20, 2008.
As regards the latter, Stabroek News Miranda La Rose was present throughout that event including the handing over of a specialized vehicle for accident/reporting to the Guyana Police Force.
The following day Stabroek Newss carried what everybody said at the opening ceremony except the minister. According to the story all the minister did was to “officiate” at the event. He never spoke.
The following day, while I was being interviewed at the Public Buildings by a reporter from another media house, the same Miranda La Rose came up and sought to ask a question, it was at that point I told her that I will not be speaking to the Stabroek News.
Readers should ask why should the Minister answer a question from a newspaper which either misrepresents or ignores what he says in public or picks and chooses which letters and press releases should be published and suppresses letters written by persons supportive of his views.
I do not expect plaudits or bouquets from Stabroek News or elsewhere. What is expected is fair, objective and balanced reporting.
I close by stating that I do not work for or with any newspapers or media house including the Stabroek News. If however, any of them were to publish a story or a letter that unfairly attacks me I shall exercise my right to reply and I expect that reply will be published not as a favour or privilege but as a right to which I am entitled like anyone else.
Yours faithfully,Clement J RoheeMinister of Home Affairs