It’s not surprising that most reporters who were physically present at the President’s press conference at Leonora during his two-day outreach have not reported on any heckling or intimidation because, this did not happen.
They have not reported on any false claim of mass mobilisation of PPP/C supporters either to boost the volume of people in attendance or to rally support for the President because, this did not occur. They have not reported on any issues or actions deemed insulting, offensive, threatening, dangerous, hurtful or clumsy because, these did not take place.
In fact, they regarded themselves as good journalists to report on the actual state of affairs which prevailed there in accordance with their perception of truth, fairness and clarity. Those few writers who narrated contrary happenings were not there and took the unbridled liberty to distort reality. Of course, their penchant is for sensationalism irrespective of the veracity of the proceedings; and sensationalism does appeal to people.
Leonora is the proud village of His Excellency, President Irfaan Ali, as well as Leonorians, Region Three; the rest of the country has every right to honor a President who hails from a working class village and is on the path to building “One Guyana.”
Under His Excellency’s governance, Leonora has been transformed into a business hub for the West Side and would soon attain the status of a town. Work in progress includes the construction of a new market, a bank, a shopping mall, a sports ground and a housing scheme.
Many in the Diaspora choose to serve humanity while making generous donations to augment the lifestyle of their fellow village brothers and sisters. Others stay on the sideline.
From 1992 to 2015, stability in press reporting flourished without the interference of the PPP Government. Prior to 1992, the so-called Fourth Estate was smothered and had to function underground. The press was powerless; the PNCR stripped it of most of its influence. Freedom of the press never happened prior to 1992.
The influence of the press has been enhanced under the PPP/C governance. But the press as the fourth estate does not have any standing comparable to the three other estates (legislative. executive, and judiciary).
The Local press is not neutral or impartial in news analysis and reporting. There are media houses that are anti-PPP/C and a few that are pro-PPP/C. What is remarkable is that social media (like TikTok, Facebook, Twitter) is more influential than traditional media.
There also flourishes a plethora of fake news and readers have a hard time to get to the truth. Rather than enlightened, they become confused. These and other setbacks severely restrict the influence of the local press. The Fourth Estate cannot be applied to them.
If and when the local press can act impartially, and engages in investigative journalism it could redeem itself. It must be noted that the government has the mandate to govern and their blue print is their manifesto which is a covenant between them (government) and the people. What’s the mandate of the press? Do they stick to it? What’s the source of its legitimacy?