Kaieteur News reporter claimed to be from Stabroek News
- shooting victim
March 12, 2004
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A Kaieteur News reporter on Sunday pretended he was from Stabroek News and later removed photographs of an injured woman from her house without permission.
The deception resulted in a Stabroek News (SN) reporter and a photographer being initially accused of theft and impersonation by the victim and her family.
A complaint over the incident was lodged by the Editor of Stabroek News, Anand Persaud with Kaieteur News (KN) whose editor-in-chief, Adam Harris, says the reporter was asked about the matter and denied the allegations of impersonation and theft.
The incident stemmed from the shooting of Asanti Bishop on Sunday afternoon during Phagwah celebrations in Albouystown. While in the hospital being treated she berated two SN employees who had visited her for a story and photograph.
Bishop told them that her sister had reported that after she was taken to the hospital a man claiming to be from SN had visited her home and gone into the house even though no one was inside.
According to the woman, her sister said when she entered the house the man identified himself as being a reporter with SN and said that he wanted an account of the shooting incident.
It was after the man left that the sister discovered that the woman's photograph was stolen.
Even after the reporter and photographer attempted to explain to Bishop that SN had not visited her home she could not be appeased and accused them of lying.
It was only after her picture from the stolen photograph appeared in Monday's issue of Kaieteur News that the woman realised who was to blame.
When she was re-visited by reporters from SN on Monday she repeated that the man who had invaded her home did tell her relatives he was from SN and she insisted that he had stolen her photographs.
After Stabroek News contacted Harris, the KN reporter contacted the Bishop family and one member of the family had a different story.
On Tuesday evening, Bishop told Stabroek News that her aunt had reported that the man had indeed entered the home and after speaking to some children took the photographs. He was on his way through the gate when he met the aunt. The aunt says he could have said he was from either Stabroek News or Kaieteur News and that he was borrowing the photographs. The woman said her aunt reported that in her confused state she allowed the man to leave with them. The KN reporter convinced the aunt to call the SN editor to try to explain the matter.
Bishop herself is adamant that when the man had initially approached her at the hospital on Sunday he had said he was from Stabroek News and had wanted a photograph of her but she had refused. After she came out of hospital on Tuesday evening she received a call from the same man who denied he had ever told her at the hospital he was from Stabroek News. She recalled that he was very argumentative and she was forced to hang up the telephone on him.
This is not the first time a Kaieteur News reporter has been accused of impersonation. Last year, a woman, whose abusive husband had just killed himself, was induced to tell her story after a reporter said she was from Help and Shelter.
Stabroek News Editor Anand Persaud said in a comment that it wasn't the first occasion that a KN reporter had done this and he said that members of the public who have doubts about the identity of reporters should ask to see a photo identification.