PPP’s media attacks draw press body’s ire

PPP’s media attacks draw press body’s ire

Monday October 10, 2011 –  Demerara Waves

The Guyana Press Association (GPA) has taken umbrage at the haranguing of private media operatives the PPP has embarked on at its election campaign rallies following a blistering salvo from President Bharrat Jagdeo on Sunday.

The GPA in a statement said it has once again noticed the attacks on the media from Jagdeo who at the Kitty rally described media operatives as “vultures and carrion crows” who should all be “thrown into jail” for going after him and his government.”  

Jagdeo, who had told reporters since last week that he would be coming out swinging on Sunday, said he hoped that there would be a special UN Tribunal set up to try some Guyanese media houses like what was done with the Rwandan media following the genocide there.

“And let me tell you we will fight them with every ounce of energy and blood that we have to ensure that that doesn’t happen here. Vultures, carrion crows in the media looking to pick on dead flesh, that’s all they do,” he declared.

He also accused Demerara Waves, Stabroek News and Kaieteur News of not showing the crowds attending the PPP rallies to make it appear as though the party’s support was waning.

“No matter how Demerara Waves, Kaieteur News and Stabroek News and APNU and AFC all get together, they can’t disappear the evidence of progress, the PPP will not allow them to do this,” Jagdeo roared during his five-minute tirade against the private media.

The GPA said Jagdeo’s assertion that local media should be placed before an international court and jailed was “wholly uncalled for, damaging and repugnant.”  It also noted that the president’s sentiments were backed up by his Governance Advisor Gail Teixeira.

“His Aide, Gail Teixeira’s provocative attempt to compare Rwanda’s media and its role in that country’s genocide to the Guyana media is also highly inflammatory and is condemned as an effort to both silence and bring harm to the local media,” the GPA declared.

Teixeira in her presentation recounted that the 1994 genocide in Rwanda had been orchestrated by the media and added “so too in Guyana” as she noted that there was post-election violence in 2001.

According to the GPA, it rejects any label that anyone either in high or other office seeks to foist upon the local press.

“We will continue to be vigilant and focused in this particular period where a higher standard is required. Therefore, we wish that a higher standard also be held by the politicians.”

The press body also sought to remind the political leaders that the rights of journalists whether they work in the state or private media ought to be respected.

“Therefore the GPA and the wider media fraternity shall hold all of these politicians on all sides of the political aisle responsible for the safety of media workers since it is obvious that media workers are now being targeted in this politically charged environment,” it added.

The association said it intends to inform and continue to update its colleagues across the Caribbean and the international press groups about these developments.

GPA President Gordon Moseley at a workshop on Friday called on the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) to “reign in political parties” and make it known to them that the rights of journalists ought to be respected.

“The constant backyard style cuss outs and name calling at the political rallies by speakers who target the media rather than their political foe must come to an end. There’s no media group, at least none I know of, running for anything in these elections, and while we may want to agree to disagree on coverage; the rights of those reporters on the campaign trail from Albion to Linden ought to be respected,” Moseley said.

Media houses and operatives last week signed on to a GECOM Media Code of Conduct for the coverage of the elections.

Source:  See comments on Demerara Waves here:-

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Comments

  • Gloria Y Fredericks  On 10/10/2011 at 8:57 pm

    The vile rhetoric spewed by Mr Jagdeo during this election period is shameful and disgraceful. Mr Jagdeo is suggesting why the media operatives whom he perceives as anti PPP or anti Jagdeo whichever ,ought to be jailed but he should be thinking long and hard about wishing anyone going to jail. Must he be reminded about his associate Roger Khan, or about Mr Amhad another associate of his who was escorted off the plane at the JFK airport in handcuffs, the “realtor” indicted in the real estate scam, who it is alleged was the supplier of building material for the “mansion” under construction, or about the 110 associates of his, residents of Richmond Hill involved in the massive credit card scam who were rounded up by the FBI as recently as last week in New York. Its only a matter of time when justice will be served. You may be able to run but you might not be able to hide from the FBI.

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