Criticisms about poor standards not an attack on media freedom
-GINA Head
Stabroek News
May 6, 2004

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Criticisms about poor standards and unfair reporting must never be interpreted as an attack on media freedom, Head of the Government Information Agency (GINA) Robert Persaud said.

In a statement to mark World Press Freedom Day, which was commemorated on Monday, Persaud said the administration's concern about a free press was expressed in President Bharrat Jagdeo's address at the signing of the Declaration of Chapultepec at State House, Georgetown in May 2002.

Persaud who is also information liaison to the President, said worldwide emphasis would be on the media's role in relation to conflict resolution and prevention. The day also allowed for self-examination by the media on how it has been carrying out its duties to the public.

And criticism must not be interpreted as an attack on media freedom, since it is a universal occurrence for the media to be the object of scrutiny and review by the wider society.

Persaud called on the media to consider the code of ethics set out by the International Society of Professional Journalists to seek the truth and report it, minimise harm, act independently and be accountable.

Meanwhile, to mark the occasion the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organisation launch-ed its news website. Persaud said the initiative was both timely and welcome, as never before has the demand for information been as great as it is now.

He noted that Guyana accords appreciation to press freedom with a flourishing media sector that includes a host of television stations, newspapers and other publications.