Please permit me to caution critics like Rickford Burke and former Chief Magistrate Juliet Holder-Allen against jumping on every cab-horse to criticize the Stabroek News and praise the Kaieteur News.
From their imaginary lofty pedestals, they and other like-minded persons must not engage in aggrieved opportunism for narrow political ends unless they are seized of the facts or they will run the grave risk of their utterances back-firing on them.
While I do not support the withdrawal of state advertisements from any news medium because of the dampening effect this can have on press freedom, I would urge them to take into consideration the following realities:
a) Time was when Kaieteur News was the virtual mouthpiece for the government when President Bharrat Jagdeo and Mr Glen Lall were friends. Gone are the days when Mr Lall would be seen dining/liming with the President.
b) Mr Lall and Mr Jagdeo fell out apparently over the favourable conditions that were created for Mr Bobby Ramroop, the President’s close friend, to start up the Guyana Times newspaper under Queens Atlantic II.
c) Kaieteur News has never criticized Donald Ramotar and will most likely not do so in a hurry because they enjoy an age-old friendship.
d) The bickering and the loss of ads by Kaieteur News has to do with a personal disagreement between the President and Mr Lall. The expose of mismanagement and corruption in the Jagdeo administration began fairly recently.
The Stabroek News began receiving advertisements again because the Jagdeo administration had to find a way to allocate state advertisements to the still poorly sold Guyana Times or the President would have faced a huge regional embarrassment for violating his own concocted principle of ‘value for money’ if he had continued to withhold ads from Stabroek and give Guyana Times.
By the way, can someone at the National Frequency Management Unit confirm whether Guyana Times/Queens Atlantic or its TV subsidiary has been quietly granted a radio licence?
(Name and address provided)