Guyana is considered a free country; Teixeira urges media to uphold responsibilities

Presidential Advisor on Governance, Gail Teixeira

[] – Guyana’s advancement in its freedom of the press rating by five places by ‘Reporters Without Borders’ has been welcomed by the government. Presidential Advisor on Governance, Gail Teixeira said the report, as well as the Freedom House Press Freedom Report, are indicators of what country can be described as “free”, in terms of their press, “partly free” or “not free”.

She reminded that Guyana from 1973 to 1993, was viewed as not free and, it is well known why. This must be taken in context, she noted, that from 1993 onwards to now 21 years later, Guyana is called “partly free and it has been constantly increasing its movement upwards in terms of freedom of the press”.

It was also pointed out that whilst a number of countries have gone down in their press rating, the United States, Canada, United Kingdom and a number of other countries have gone up, “although they are still in the same category of being partly free”.

The Presidential Adviser admitted that while she is not very familiar with the methodology used by Reporters Without Borders, the ratings proffered by the World Press Freedom of the Press Index and the Freedom House Press Index are both considered quite reputable.

She noted that in the Caribbean what is also interesting in the Freedom House Report on Press Freedom is that “2014 Guyana in the Americas for example is listed as a country that is 17 of the 35 countries of the Americas which of course includes US, Canada… St Lucia is put at number 1 in the Americas for example, way above Canada and the United States so that Guyana came out kind of middle score with 17 out of 35 and a number of other countries have been listed further down”.

The aforementioned position held by this country she said “is a reasonably fair report. We have shown improvement and obviously in terms of the Freedom House Freedom of the World Report of 2015, I think it is important for Guyanese to note that Guyana is considered a free country.”

She said that, “Our status in the freedom of the press score, we are 34 and that bring us at 70 out of 197 countries. So both reports deal with differences in numbers of countries so that to be ranked 70 in terms of 197 countries still in the same category both weigh as partly free”.

The senior government official opined that in terms of world freedom Guyana ranks very high. [Extracted and modified from GINA]