IN a single article in Saturday’s Stabroek News on the statements by ExxonMobil and President Granger heralding the start of oil production in Guyana, SN devotes seven paragraphs (or 25%) to the views of unnamed critics of various aspects of the oil issue.
Totally absent from the SN report are positive or professional comments from such sources as the Head of the IMF Guyana Mission; energy intelligence firms such as Rystad Energy and Wood Mackenzie; and our own Professor Clive Thomas.
In its generally highly-negative reporting on the oil issue, SN has not been alone. Its main newspaper rival, Kaieteur News, has clearly beaten it into the second spot. While SN does on rare occasions intermix balanced reporting on the issue, KN never lapses in its out-and-out criticism.
These observations do not ignore the important role of our newspapers to keep the public informed and to scrutinise and examine the actions of the government. Both newspapers, however, have shown no inclination to report the facts in a balanced fashion and to leave it to the citizens to judge for themselves. Instead, they have engaged in blatant one-sidedness, casting every aspect of the oil agreement and government’s management as utterly bad. Where is the fair and balanced reporting in SN and KN on this matter? This cannot be their idea of what good journalism looks like.