One of the worst expressions of journalism
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on google
Share on whatsapp

THE Attorney General’s Chambers and Ministry of Legal Affairs notes with alarm the bizarre and bold front page headline of Kaieteur News, May 12, 2022, which screams “NANDLALL’S MINISTRY BUILDING PARKING SHED THAT WILL COST MORE THAN TWO TURN KEY HOMES.’’ That this headline was published against a yellow backdrop, perhaps best describes the type of journalism on display.

This story stems from an advertisement published in the very newspaper by the ministry, inviting bids to construct a parking shed at the ministry’s office. The engineer estimated the project to cost GUY $8.05 million. The reporter did not consider it necessary to seek a comment from any official at the ministry, nor attempt to examine the bid documents which would have given the relevant details of the proposed project. Rather, the reporter proceeds to convey the impression of squandermania and makes a preposterous comparison with core homes being built by the Ministry of Housing. This must constitute one of the worst expressions of journalism, so frequently evident on the pages of this newspaper. If the ministry is to stop publishing advertisements in this newspaper, an attack on press freedom would have been the cry!

A simple enquiry to the ministry or an examination of the bid documents would have provided the relevant information that the reporter needed. Such resorts would have revealed that the current parking shed is decades old, is dilapidated and unless demolished or repaired, would damage government and private vehicles parked under it. It is made of wood and zinc both of which are rotting. Rather than repair such a derelict structure or replacing with similar materials, the management of the ministry prudently decided to construct a parking shed made completely out of steel, cemented to the ground. Such a structure will last, at a minimum of two decades, once properly maintained, as opposed to one made of wood and zinc which requires annual maintenance.

The proposed shed is approximately 200 feet in length by 19 feet in width. This is larger than the current structure and will accommodate several more vehicles, as more space for parking is badly needed. The design and bill of quantities were prepared free of cost by engineers at the Ministry of Public Works. If any sensible person examines the acquisition costs of the steel and concrete needed, coupled with transportation, fabrication and labour required to carry out the works at prevailing rates in the country, that person would conclude that the sum of $8 million is quite a reasonable sum for such a project.

In the circumstances, this is not even a news story, but has been graduated to a front page headline by a media outlet that creates sensationalism out of nothing. Only recently we celebrated World Press Freedom Day. If the journalistic fraternity is to get the profound respect that it deserves, then it must immediately end such abuse of the fine tradition of a great profession.
For the record, the Attorney General’s Chambers and Ministry of Legal Affairs condemns this scandalising story.

Yours sincerely,
Attorney General’s Chambers and Ministry of Legal Affairs

 

SHARE THIS ARTICLE :
Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on google
Google+
Share on whatsapp
WhatsApp
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on google
Share on whatsapp
Scroll to Top
All our printed editions are available online
emblem3
Subscribe to the Guyana Chronicle.
Sign up to receive news and updates.
We respect your privacy.