President of Transparency Institute of Guyana Inc. (TIGI), Dr Troy Thomas, believes that the Executive should give up its control over the state media, and hand it over to an independent body.
The statement was made during Thomas’ speech at a World Press Freedom Day event on Thursday where he pointed out that the State media is an entity for the State, and should not be used to push the agenda of the Executive.
“State Media should be turned over to the people to be managed by a professional body that can plan programs that are of interest to the citizens and that enrich the lives of our citizens…because it speaks to not only the freedom of press but the quality of information people can expect of the State Media and also what happens in Governments change. We need a system that guarantees that we’re protected against those vagaries,” he said.
His comment comes at the heels of a recent incident whereby two columnists, trade unionist Lincoln Lewis and political activist David Hinds, who have been critical of the Coalition government, were sacked by the State newspaper – the Guyana Chronicle.
This move by Government has since been condemned by many, including the Guyana Press Association.
There have been several reports that this action was taken after numerous government ministers had expressed concerns about the contents of the columns.
However, government had denied this, insisting that the decision was an administrative one which it would not get involved in.