World Report - Guyana
|Publisher||Reporters Without Borders|
|Publication Date||5 January 2010|
|Cite as||Reporters Without Borders, World Report - Guyana, 5 January 2010, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/4b7aa9b413.html [accessed 31 May 2016]|
- Area: 214,970 sq. km.
- Population: 770,000
- Language: English
- Head of state: Bharrat Jagdeo, since August 1999
Press freedom is widely respected, despite sometimes tense relations between President Bharrat Jagdeo and a section of the media. The country's leading daily, Stabroek News, was made to pay the price for this by being starved of official advertising for 18 months.
In common with most English-speaking countries in the Caribbean, Guyana has a satisfactory record in fundamental freedoms. Journalists in the "Cooperative Republic" as the country is officially known, experience very few threats or assaults. Press concerns are chiefly focused on relations with the government. The state maintains a monopoly on radio which is being increasingly contested within the profession. The hot-headed president's extreme sensitivity to criticism complicates the job of some media. A producer and journalist on privately owned television station, Capitol News, Gordon Moseley was banned access to the Office of the President, in July 2008, because the head of state was displeased by his report on his visit to Antigua in which he referred to comments about safety problems in the capital Georgetown and failed to respond to government calls to apologise.
The president's touchiness was even more strongly in evidence when the top-selling daily Stabroek News was denied official advertising from November 2006 to April 2008. The Government Information Agency (GINA) never provided any explanation for the boycott. Over an 18-month period, public advertising in the daily was limited to a few inserts on the part of the tax authorities. Bharrat Jagdeo has never tried to conceal his annoyance with the paper's editorial line, which has been more critical of him since his re-election in 2006.