By Jomo Paul
[www.inewsguyana.com] – President of the Guyana Press Association (GPA), Neil Marks has issued a call for the local media fraternity to place more attention to their audience as it relates to their preparation of articles and reports.
Marks made the call at a United Nations (UN) Guyana Media Awards Journalism Workshop at the Cara Lodge Hotel on Friday, September 11, 2015.
“Citizens are eager for more accountability on the part of government and that is where we come in…we have that responsibility to hold governments accountable for what they do,” said the GPA President.
He noted that much of what makes the news these days would be government contracts and media personnel are not usually inclined to go after the story behind the story.
“Much of what is splashed on the front pages at least from the state media… are government contracts…but sometimes we never know what the people on the ground are thinking about these projects or how they are affected by it,” said Marks.
Meanwhile, he also warned against the publishing of press releases without any additional information or work.
“We should really try to stay away from churnalisam – just taking out from the press releases that the government might be sending out…..the most important people in our stories are the ones on the ground….they are the ones who are most affected by whatever government priorities are on the table,” said Marks.
Meanwhile, Chairman of the Guyana Media Proprietors Association, Charles Griffith sounded a call for more training to be given to reporters on issues of policy.
“There is a deficiency in the media operators…there is no programme that teaches anyone to design and analyze public policies,” he said.
Griffith urged that the UN undertake a programme that would see journalists being trained in this area. The workshop will run for two days and will focus on several areas including the enhancement of online media. The presenters include veteran journalists Denis Chabrol and Vidyaratha Kissoon.