What the people say about What's wrong with the media?
By Andre Haynes
Stabroek News
June 7, 2004

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Sharon James - administrative officer: 'Reporters need to be more professional, they need to ask more questions and to investigate their sources. Sometimes it seems as though the reporters only listen to one side of the story without investigating the other angles. There reporting should be thorough.'

Devanand Somedat - overseas-based businessman: `The Chronicle is kind of biased, Stabroek News doesn't carry some of your letters and Kaieteur News is a fair paper in a sense. But they have not reported much on the recent case with the businessman, they seem a bit biased on that.'

Shawn Kinsanally - electrician: 'Some-times certain media houses focus on one side of a story, instead of trying to be balanced.

For example, if a crime occurs and two or three media houses go, one will carry one party's side rather than dividing the facts. What we mostly get is seventy-thirty or sixty-forty instead of fifty-fifty.'

Joan Babb - administrative manager: `I find a lot of grammatical errors in the print media and I wonder what has happened to the English language. We are not using it any longer. There are long sentences, people don't know where to put a full stop, a comma, or a semi-colon. That is my main problem with the newspapers. Also, journalism is too sensational. Why not promote the positives of this country? Why not help the people of this country to understand that there are prescribed norms that we live by? We also need to let people understand that education is important, it is what takes you out of poverty. These are the things that people should promote. Instead I read the newspapers and I see somebody either got killed or kidnapped. That's why I've stopped reading the newspapers.'

Floyd Stanton - photographer: `I believe the media is doing a good job to highlight many of the things going on. Like crime, fraud at government agencies and the drug trafficking occurring inside the country. That is one of the reasons why talk show hosts have become so popular, because certain media houses don't report the truth. The Chronicle is not balanced at all, and the government's TV and radio stations don't report the truth. Some Talk show hosts do.'

Samantha Blair - student: 'I don't believe the media in Guyana is very balanced. All you have to do is look at any one of the TV channels. If you change channels you'll find that especially with the TV stations, the newspapers are more balanced.'

Joseph Cummings - turner: `What is really wrong with the media in Guyana is that there is too much political interference. It must be independent. The media must be free to express ideas without victimisation by the government, any government, be it PPP or PNC. There is nothing really wrong with the media except for that.

Sister Dolly - seamstress: `There is an excess of adult material in the media that children shouldn't hear. Young children know so much about sex and other things because they see it there in the media, over and over. It's so corrupting. They need to concentrate on educational issues, instead.'

Olinda Lawson: `The media keeps me updated about the things going on in the country. Sometimes they show things that might not be appropriate for young children. They show it too early, when the children are awake. I have that problem at home.'