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Oppression of any section of the media will not be supported; new media must be embraced - Min McCoy

Minister within the Office of the Prime Minister with responsibility for Public Affairs Kwame McCoy said the new forms of media and journalism must be embraced and not rejected by the traditional media. He was delivering his statements on Saturday evening at a reception held at the Canadian High Commissioner's residence in observance of 'World Press Freedom Day' held under the theme "Journalism under digital siege."

The Minister said the Government believes in the universality of press freedom and would not support any oppression of any section of the media. “We cannot and will not support the oppression of any section of media albeit the non-traditional, non-conventional, irreverent section being oppressed, not even by the Bastian of the fourth estate itself."

Minister McCoy said with social media, traditional media faces competition and therefore for societies to grow, dialogue change and evolution must be embraced.

“There has to be the emergence of middle ground that guarantees equal space for equal effort. While we will not dispute the narrow definitions of journalism being applied to this line in the sand, we are cognisant of the indisputable fact that many if not all citizen reporters and social media influencers practice some modicum of the tenets of journalism,” he was quoted as saying by DPI.

In relation to capacity building and opportunities for media personell, Minister McCoy said the Government is playing its role by investing in the Guyana Media and Communication Academy through partnership with Coursera.

This he said will provide high-level training and reportable credence for journalists here, and in the diaspora.

“This is another opportunity for another level of practitioners in the media… I am absolutely willing to work with every single person, every journalist, every person in the media, every agency that sees a need for us to work together to better what we have to enhance," he said.

According to the Public Affairs Minister, it is not state verses private media but rather all practitioners being able to serve, to be protected, to be independent and to be able to produce their best work.

Media personnel at the reception.

Media operatives were assured that they are not being 'spied' on by the government and there will be no state sponsored attacks on any journalist in the country.

Feature addresses were delivered by local journalist Denis Chabrol along with President of the Guyana Press Associaiton (GPA) Nazima Raghubir.

Statements were also delivered by the western missions who were in attendance.

Minister McCoy engaging with US Ambassador to Guyana Sarah Ann Lynch and a representative from the Embassy.

(Extracted and modified from the Department of Public Information.)


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