A matter of punctuality Editorial
Guyana Chronicle
October 12, 2002

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THE media in any country have an enormous responsibility in the maintenance of stability, in education and public awareness and of course the transmission of news and information.

Media workers do not have fixed hours of work and are on call virtually 24 hours a day.

Theirs is a demanding job; they perform beyond the call of duty and contribute monumentally to the national developmental process in their respective societies.

Unfortunately though, their unstinting efforts largely go unrewarded and unrecognised by society.

But media work is by nature a selfless occupation, and therefore rewards and recognition are not looked forward to.

The satisfaction of providing information and news that is timely, relevant and educative is perhaps the best reward.

However, in Guyana to a large extent, media workers are often taken for granted when they have to cover scheduled assignments called by agencies, organisations and others.

They usually turn up on time for assignments but it seems that punctuality, that essential tenet of discipline and respect, is not much favoured by some in this society.

It's a most frustrating experience to turn up event after event at the prescribed time, only to find that no official is to be found, or to be greeted with the familiar "Please bear with us for a few minutes, we are awaiting the arrival of..."

The few minutes sometimes turn out to be hours, but generally media personnel have to wait excruciatingly long periods until the organisers of the events are ready to proceed.

Any media personnel in Guyana will confirm that most of the time events do not begin on time.

In fact, it's a pleasant surprise when the rare event actually starts on time.

What organisers of programmes do not seem to understand or care, or both, is that media personnel are mobile operatives who are on the move all the time.

Therefore if at one function they are kept back, it is most likely that they will be late for the following assignment, especially if the assignments are close by in terms of time.

In addition, media operatives have to get back to their respective media houses and prepare their reports in a timely and accurate manner for the next newscast or the following day's newspaper, as the case may be.

Therefore time is of essential importance for the media.

The point is that some people show scant respect for media personnel, who are often under a lot of work pressure, by not starting events punctually.

Somewhere along the line the media have been taken for granted, and some have adopted the attitude that "Ah, the media have to wait on us."

There are also cases where the time or arrangements for an event may be changed or adjusted, but media houses are not granted the luxury of being informed or are informed at the 11th hour.

This is an unacceptable state of affairs and if media personnel make the effort to be on time to cover scheduled assignments, it is the duty of those organising these events to get them rolling on time.

Punctuality is one of the pillars of discipline and respect for fellow human beings.

The absence of it breeds inefficiency, reduced production and productivity and of course, indiscipline.

It is time for some people to begin to show somemore respect for time - especially when it involves the time of others.