Local media continues to benefit from unlimited access to President, gov’t officials – Min. McCoy

Minister within the Office of the Prime Minister with Responsibility for Public Affairs, Kwame McCoy has reaffirmed the government’s commitment to an open environment for journalists to operate and access government officials, but called out sections of the media for ridiculing the administration regardless of its efforts.

Minister McCoy was at the time addressing concerns regarding the approach taken by the Guyana Press Association (GPA) in its role as representatives of local journalists, during an interview with the National Communications Network (NCN) Wednesday evening.

Minister within the Office of the Prime Minister with Responsibility for Public Affairs, Kwame McCoy

“There are certain sections of the media and in particular, a small group within the Guyana Press Association that find their way always aiming towards the throat of the People’s Progressive Party/Civic Government. It doesn’t matter what you do and whenever you do it, they will never find favour with the efforts, attempts, and anything that this People’s Progressive Party /Civic does.”

The minister noted that the head of state has held several press conferences in the early months of his tenure, surpassing the number held by the former president.

Minister McCoy pointed out that press conferences are not the sole means of media engagement, highlighting public events, activities, and various other opportunities for journalists to interact with government officials.

“There is no limited access. There are no restrictions on journalists to members of the cabinet. The president is one of the best examples of access and openness and frankness and transparency. It is right before our eyes every day in our country.”

The public affairs minister noted personal encounters where he witnessed journalists approaching the president from the sidelines alone, illustrating the accessibility of government officials.

Meanwhile, regarding concerns over victimisation faced by journalists under the previous government, Minister McCoy reiterated that journalists and civil society members no longer need to fear expressing their views.

He pledged the government’s support to protect journalists and ensure their unhindered access to information and government officials.

Additionally, the minister acknowledged the crucial role of state media workers in disseminating information and assured them that they hold an essential role in the media landscape of Guyana.

“I want every state media worker to know that you hold ─ a very important role, and are part of the whole makeup of the media system in Guyana. That role that you play is essential to the existence and the operation of the work that we do as a government.”