Minister McCoy unveils Guyana’s Media and Communication Academy
Government has partnered with the world’s leading learning virtual platform – Coursera to provide high-level training and reportable credence for journalists here, and in the diaspora.
The opportunities will be made available through the nation’s first ever media and communication academy, which was officially unveiled Tuesday, by Minister within the Office of the Prime Minister with responsibility for Public Affairs, Kwame McCoy, M.P during the opening of the national media conference and symposium at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre (ACCC).
Minister McCoy said, through the remarkable collaboration, media practitioners at every level in Guyana and the diaspora will now have access to learning licences annually, financed by the government.
“Those licences will allow you to peruse and pursue selections from among more than 2000 world class courses at various levels of certification from leading partner universities in the world, including Ivy League institutions,” the minister noted.
“The academy’s continuous media education programme will allow for the streamlining of graduates into professional grades of practice at the level of professional, specialist and expert practitioner, based on successful completion of prescribed menus of courses on the learning platform, accessible through the licences,” Minister McCoy added.
Since the administration assumed office, it has re-established and strengthened the communication and access channels between government and the media. The approach was facilitated through engagements with representatives of the fraternity.
Additionally, a number of refresher trainings were conducted for state media operatives. A wide range of study opportunities have also been made available for media personnel through the Guyana Online Academy of Learning (GOAL) programme.
“We have strengthened the Guyana National Broadcasting Authority with wider scope to expand the national spectrum assets, and create new opportunities for greater reach and access across the country,” Minister McCoy emphasised.
Further, he stressed that in 2021, Guyana ratified the Media Freedom Convention Coalition’s Convention and is actively collaborating with the global partners of that coalition to review and further support local facilities that impact freedom here.
Minister McCoy said the matter of press freedom will continue to be guarded and held sacrosanct, under PPP/C Administration.
“I’m well aware that like nurses and doctors, lawyers, teachers, firefighters, the police, yours is a task that often appears to have no boundaries. Day and night, weekends and holidays you must respond to the news where and when it happens,” he underscored.
The minister lauded the efforts of media operatives, whom he underscored, played an integral role to “safeguard our fragile democracy,” following the 2020 General and Regional Elections impasse.
“Many of you spent sleepless nights working to ensure the electorate and the country as a whole got the necessary information through ball-by-ball coverage.”
The minister pointed out that the global theme for this year, “the Press Under Surveillance,” brings an opportunity for the press, stakeholder and the government, to examine the status quo and the dynamics within which “we all operate and seek avenues to chart mutually beneficial courses aimed at satisfying the national good.”