Mr. Heeralall Makhanlall
Office of Professional Responsibility,
Guyana Police Force,
Dear Mr. Makhanlall,
RE: Request for disclosure of a journalist’s source(s)
I wish to acknowledge receipt of your letter dated 2019/10/08 which referenced an article under the caption ‘Junior Cops accused police Force of human Rights Violations at Endurance Camp, Want president and Security Minister to Intervene’ published by Big Smith Crime Watch on September 02, 2019
The GPF’s Office of Professional Responsibility’s decision to investigate the claims of the junior ranks must be commended. Notwithstanding that, I see no indications where aspects of my report impedes such an investigation. As such, I see myself under no obligation to reveal my source to the Guyana Police Force through the Police Office of Professional Responsibility.
Therefore, I regret to inform you that I cannot aid your investigation by providing you with ‘any information of the ranks who may have provided information/ photographs’ in respect to the issues raised in my article.
I find this request of the Police Office of Professional Responsibility, highly irresponsible. Moreover, this request flies right in the face of the basic tenants and principles of journalism and I am appalled that such a request would even be considered by the Guyana Police Force.
As a journalist the right and need to protect my source(s) will continue to remain pillars on which I practice this profession and perform my journalist functions.
In the ‘News Manual’ Chapter 60 under the heading sources and confidentiality;it states “However, once you have made the promise not to identify them, you must never break your word. If you do, people will never talk to you again. This introduces us to the idea of confidentiality, one of the most important areas of journalism ethics”
Please be guided accordingly.
BIG Smith Crime Watch