I am reminded constantly of the saying of Nelson Mandela that “a free press is a pillar of a democratic society”. Then I am also reminded of Barack Obama’s saying before he left the Office of US President that “we have to uphold a free press and freedom of speech – because, in the end, lies and misinformation are no match for the truth”.
Editor, this was my mood as I read that former President David Granger filed charges against Guyana Times, Stabroek News and the Kaieteur News for defamation and libel they allegedly published about him during and after the March 2, 2020 elections in Guyana.
I know that I can’t say much about the case because it is sub judice but I must say that this case cannot stand the test of reasonable scrutiny and facts.
The former Head of State has made yet another mistake, perhaps the biggest – to single-handedly sue the media in Guyana – and there is a plethora of evidence to be called in support of the media’s case.
I, like all Guyanese, will watch this case closely as the media’s freedom to report and tell stories based upon what they know to be fact is being attacked and threatened.
The courts were assaulted first and they stood their ground. The political party in power was attacked and they stood their ground. Now, it’s the media – the fourth estate that has come under attack with allegations of spreading fake news, libel and defamation. Will they stand their ground and deliver an unrestrained blow to the former President or will they break under pressure.