‘Media has a responsibility to keep power in check’- Afra Raymond, Transparency Activist

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DPI, Guyana, Thursday, May 3, 2018

At a lecture held by the Guyana Press Association (GPA) today in observance of World Press Freedom Day, Transparency Activist, Afar Raymond says the media must be cognisant that it has a responsibility to keep the power of the state and the power of the profession in check.

Journalist and Transparency Activist, Afar Raymond.

“It has to be more than keeping the power of the state or keeping the power of keeping a political party in check. It is also that the media has to recognise it has a power and it has a responsibility to keep that in check,” Raymond emphasised.

According to Raymond, the media acts as an interface between the state and the citizens of a country. “Our job is to excavate what they [the state] is doing and how that affects the daily livelihood of citizens.” He posited that once the media empowers a person, act, or event it becomes a national matter and cited the example of Brexit.

He also addressed ‘FANG’ the acronym for four high-performing technology stocks Facebook, Amazon, Netflix and Google (now Alphabet, Incorporated), and noted that data is the most valuable item today. Hence, journalists must understand the role of these technology corporations to make the best use of them.

Chairman of NCN, Enrico Woolford.

Local journalists attending the lecture shared their views on press freedom in Guyana.

Enrico Woolford, Chairman National Communications Network (NCN): “Freedom of the press focuses on what a journalist can and cannot do in some societies, but in particular for Guyana, in recent times journalists have been quite free to practice their profession. However, we need to look at how we can have freedom of the press enshrined in Guyana’s constitution.”

Thandeka Percival, a journalist at Stabroek News: “I believe we journalists as a whole need to be very aware of the responsibilities we have, that comes with the freedom of expression.”

George Gonsalves, a reporter at Safetv2, said that press freedom in Guyana for the past few years has greatly improved, “I see sectors of the government are helping.”

The theme for this year’s celebrations is ‘Keeping Power in Check: Media, Justice and The Rule of Law’.

Reporter at Safetv2, George Gonsalves.

Journalist at Stabroek News, Thandeka Percival.


Members of the Guyana media fraternity.


By: Zanneel Williams.