Thursday, July 11, 2013

Journalists leave Guardian claiming political interference; Not so says paper's MD

Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar on Wednesday gave the assurance that her government stands by its policy to defend media freedom and told the Express newspaper that she was not aware of any political interference at the Guardian media.

The Express reported Thursday that three journalists have resigned their jobs at the Guardian saying they did so because of political interference. The paper also reported that Editor in Chief Judy Raymond has been sidelined.

Read the Express story: 


However, the Guardian reported in a front page article that nothing has changed, citing Managing Director Gabriel Faria.
Gabriel Faria

Faria said the Guardian Media Ltd remains committed to the highest principles of journalism and stated that it is in full support of “fair, balanced and accurate reporting by its reporters.” 

He also stated that he has been fully supportive of the media team, and that the group has been providing the necessary training and equipment to compete at the highest level.

He also said Raymond remains editor-in-chief and is working on what he described as "the development of a more robust editorial policy that will set the tone for the way we do our reporting, to ensure, that again, we provide the highest quality of reporting which is unbiased, accurate and fair.”

He also stated that only two reporters have resigned and made it clear that there is no political interference at the Guardian.

“I have never and no management person has ever told reporters what to write, what not to write or what stories to pursue. And we have no plans to do that. We do want to make sure that we provide a complete story to our readers so they walk away fully knowledgeable of all the facts,” Faria stated.

Read the Guardian story:

Nothing has changed (with CNC3 video)

The Express asked Persad-Bissessar about the matter while she was at a walkabout in Munroe Road, Cunupia.

“I have not spoken to anyone at the Guardian, either board members or reporters at the Guardian. I speak to the reporters from time to time...when you ask me questions," she told the paper.

She reiterated her government's policy on media: "I’ve spoken repeatedly and you will realise I’ve never ever attacked the media even when you attack me sometimes and I don’t mean it in a bad way. 

"I’ve never, ever in my 28 years in public life, you could check my history and my record, I have never interfered with freedom of the press and indeed we went so far, my government recently moved a part of the criminal libel law against journalists and reporters. 

"I remain committed to freedom of the press and with respect to what happened at the Guardian, I really don’t know, I can’t say, but I do know I spoke to no one at the Guardian,” she insisted.

“I want to repeat again with this Guardian issue, I know nothing, I didn’t even know what you told me today and at no point have I ever spoken to anyone there or threatened or in any way intimidated anyone from my Government. I am not aware of any such thing,” she said.

Worth repeating: Commentary: Let's not lose focus on the role of media in a democracy

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Jai & Sero

Jai & Sero

Our family at home in Toronto 2008

Our family at home in Toronto 2008
Amit, Heather, Fuzz, Aj, Jiv, Shiva, Rampa, Sero, Jai