I WISH to applaud the work of the Department of Public Information (DPI) and by extension the Minister with responsibility for Public Affairs, Kwame McCoy, in releasing information to the public on the work of the government. The ministry through the DPI and the state-owned Chronicle newspaper efficiently educates the public.
The DPI is the principal public relations outfit of the government. It creates awareness on government policies and promotes Guyana. It is not politicised for propagandistic purposes as it was under the preceding coalition.
The ministry not only informs citizens on its own work and activities, but also provides coverage of the overall government – the offices of the President and of the Prime Minister and the various ministries and their departments and corporations. It gathers, processes, and disseminates information in a timely and efficient manner. It is not propagandistic, slanting news towards a goal, but presents information as is in a professional manner. It provides credible, reliable and quality broadcasting and news reporting services in both newspaper and TV.
I am very impressed with the coverage of newsworthy items in the newspaper (Chronicle) as well as on TV (NCN) and social media. Reporting is fair and balanced in the several arms of the ministry. The NCN and the Chronicle also allow for interviewing of ministers and heads of departments; interviews are made accessible on You Tube as well as on social media. The DPI and the Chronicle inform the public on government policies, programmes and projects. Reporting on the events and policies empower the citizenry with information to ensure social ownership of public policies and increased political inclusion. The information allows the public to assess policies, projects, and programmes.
The Chronicle is professionally managed today, allowing a variety of opinions in columns and opinions, including from those who were/are sycophantic defending or supporting the coalition APNU+AFC. I recall during the coalition’s tenure in office, between June 2015 and July 2020, the Chronicle did not feature much coverage of activities relating to the then opposition PPP and its supporters. It is not viewed as a propaganda rag as it was over a year ago. Today, there are all kinds of views and coverage. There is so much coverage now on the activities of the diaspora and on Guyanese festivals which were “blanked” during the coalition’s rule. The design of the paper is also different today; it is more attractive. Chronicle is no longer involved in libellous actions attacking people’s reputations. It is disseminating truthful and unbiased news. And more people are reading and seem to be advertising in it than under the coalition. Thank you Ministry of Public Affairs, DPI, and the Chronicle for a well-managed public relations unit. One advisory note: the DPI should encourage feedback reports on public reactions to government policies and programmes.