Guyanese should say no to a unit to monitor the private media

Dear Editor,

Imagine the ruling Party People’s Progressive Party is advocating setting up a unit to monitor (read control and suppress) the private media in Guyana because it feels its views are not being aired enough or accurately enough.  This same PPP/C government does not want to share information on public projects so the citizens of Guyana can decide for themselves what is in the best interest of Guyana.  The government also has no intention of establishing the Public Procurement Commission; no interest in local government elections; no interest in ensuring the Chronicle newspaper (I hate to even refer to it as providing news) is more objective in their reporting and stories and no interest in promoting equitable air time for other sections of government, namely the APNU and AFC who are on the National Communica-tions Network.

How ironic, how barefaced, how hypocritical and it’s certainly smelling dictatorial. Over the past 3 years the PPP/C Government has pulled ads from Kaieteur and Stabroek News and in the case of Stabroek News at an earlier stage denied it any state advertising for 18 months in an attempt to bankrupt and/or persuade these outlets to change. So the recent talk about establishing a body to monitor the private media is no surprise.  It is simply a strategy for the government to try to control and suppress the private media.  In fact it is also a revelation that the private media has been leading the effort for more transparent, accountable and representative national governance.  So now that the government has been exposed as corrupt and self-interested, it wants to stop information from getting to the public; information that is in the best interest of the public.  Imagine that!

If one were to assess a few of the countries that Guyana closely aligns itself with, one would observe that China, Cuba and Russia all have similar media outfits which suppress freedom of expression, information and the will of the population to think for themselves under the guise of monitoring the private media.   In fact these units do one thing, promote the government agenda and help the spread of propaganda by controlling what information is in the public domain.

Daily the credibility of the PPP/C Government is being reduced to nothing. I encourage all Guyanese to support the restoration of participatory democracy and freedom for the people by saying no to this dream of a unit to monitor the private media.

Yours faithfully,
Mike Archer

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