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Press Association will not tell media houses what they should or shouldn’t do- President Raghubir

President of the Guyana Press Association Nazima Ragubir 

As the political climate intensifies, media houses have an increased responsibility to ensure that they “self-regulate” since they ought not to be instructed about what they should or shouldn’t do at this time. This is according to the president of the Guyana Press Association Nazima Raghubir. during a recent interview with BIG Smith News Watch.

The GPA president believes fervently that the role of the association is not to instruct media houses on how they should operate; especially during this time.

“As a media advocacy body, we’re not going to have a heavy-handed approach in telling media houses what they should or shouldn’t do. This is why we facilitate training and workshops, particularly around election time” Ragubir stated.

Just two days ago, Editor-In-Chief of the state-owned National Communications Network (NCN) Leeron Brummel was sent on leave after resisting attempts to have an APNU+AFC candidate present the news.

While the GPA has not weighed in on the matter, Raghubir said earlier this month that the association has always advocated for media houses to be self-regulated.

“We have always advocated for self-regulation. Media houses must be able to self-regulate. They must use training and whatever codes of conduct are designed to self-regulate. Editors must commit themselves to those codes and be able to identify what they should and shouldn’t do,” she noted.

Over the weekend, a large number of media operatives participated in a training session which was hosted by the Guyana Press Association in collaboration with AmCham following a grant which the latter received from the United States Embassy to facilitate the training. There were presentations by the Guyana Elections Commission were a number of issues were discussed including the dos’ and don’t especially during this election period.

Beyond the media houses however, the GPA President explained that in the era of social media, it is becoming increasingly difficult to monitor or regulate what kind of information is disseminated. On that note, she highlighted that political parties and their agents have been guilty of pushing misinformation, and as such, they too are to be held responsible for their actions.

“In this era of social media, the responsibility is not only with media houses but also with political parties. I’ve seen some mischief by media houses but I’ve also seen a lot of mischief by political parties and political agents. If the media does not carry something, and an individual can decide to peddle misinformation and by the click of a button you have thousands of views” the GPA President related.

Because of this, her recommendation is for media houses to understand their role and to commit to upholding journalistic standards, and for parties and their agents to desist from acting on such impulses which could have serious consequences.