Guyana: the government hints at the rationalization of information on social networks

The Guyanese government says it will work to consolidate the recommendations of a national conference and symposium which examined, among other things, the case of “partnerships in communication for development” and questions relating to ethics and legal frameworks.

“The Department of Public Affairs will work to consolidate the recommendations of the symposium into concrete outcomes in specific areas discussed, strengthening the engagement of key players across the local spectrum,” according to a statement from the Department of Public Information (DPI ). about the two-day conference and symposium.

“The main issue that emerges as the most pressing is the need to streamline social media and news media into a viable framework in the Fourth Estate,” he added.

The DPI said the launch of the Guyana Virtual Media and Communication Academy, developed in partnership with the world’s largest online learning platform, COURSERA, “promises to start the process of partnerships in communication for development, with the government taking a new lead in the areas of skills enhancement and knowledge advancement for the Guyanese media fraternity…’

The DPI said the conference and symposium benefited from contributions from the Minister of Home Affairs and Information of Barbados, Wilfred Abrahams, as well as the press officer of the “

“Over the past two years, the government has taken consistent and decisive action to continue building its legacy of respect for the press and the universal freedom to which it is entitled, with marked changes in press access. compared to what was achieved under the previous government. , including frequent engagements and the reinstatement of the constitutional post of Information Commissioner,” the DPI said.

He said the conference served to reinforce the “steadfast positions” of Irfaan Ali’s government “in favor of a free environment for the Guyanese press”.

But in a statement, the Guyana Press Association (GPA) said “most of the debate and disagreement at the conference appeared to stem from the organizers’ decision to confuse journalism, PR practice and social media influence.

“Whether or not that was the intention was a big mistake because each category of communication has its own role,” GPA said.

He also noted that the government should take some of the blame for a reduction in journalism standards with a greater focus on social media influencers.

“If politicians on the other side of the line claim to have a modicum of interest in raising the standard of journalism, then they should immediately stop using social media influencers in place of journalists.

“To continue to do so is to contribute to the degradation of journalism on the altar of the desirability of reach, likes and shares. In this way, sections of the public are led to believe that this media content social media conforms to globally accepted standards of journalism,” the GPA said.