Georgetown, Guyana – (January 20, 2017) President David Granger has said that as Head of State he remains committed to ensuring regular and consistent access to the media through a variety of channels and noted that because of these regular engagements, there is no dearth of information.
Responding to questions posed to him on the recording of December 20 edition of The Public Interest, the President said that he has remains accessible to the media through a number of media engagement options, including press conferences where appropriate. “The purpose of the press conference is to meet with the Head of State to find out his thoughts on a variety of subjects. I have been doing that very faithfully. I am not sure that many presidents either of Guyana or in any other part of the world engage the press as frequently as I engage the press,” the President said.
President Granger noted that it is his policy to ensure media accessibility and added that he has been diligent in answering the questions, which has been posed to him, throughout the period since he has taken office. He that when the need arises and if this is something the press corps is asking for a press conference will be organised. The President added that he is committed to answering questions of the media, just as he does each week on The Public Interest. “It does not mean that my engagement of one or two persons is inferior to my engagement of four or five persons or 10 or 20 persons. I am not going to fight it. If you want a ‘mass games’ I can have it but the important thing now is that you have access to the Head of State and he will answer your questions… there is nothing wrong with my meeting with you in this format,” he said.
The Head of State will continue to make media engagement opportunities available, since it is critical that the people of Guyana are adequately informed so that they can be empowered to be involved in the development and management of the country and its resources. These avenues include, but are not limited to the following:-
1. Interview Requests
Members of the media may submit a request for interview with the President of Guyana or any Minister or authorised officer within the Ministry of the Presidency, through the Press and Publicity Unit. While, due to scheduling limitations, not all interviews can be granted, this remains an option to directly engage the President of Guyana and Ministers within the Ministry of the Presidency.
2. Ministerial Press Conferences
Ministers within the Ministry of the Presidency are empowered to engage the media though press conferences on issues that fall within their portfolio. Additionally, the Minister of State, Mr. Joseph Harmon is responsible for hosting Post Cabinet Press Briefings, weekly. In his absence, the briefing is hosted by Minister of Natural Resources, Mr. Raphael Trotman. From time to time, this has also become a forum where other Ministers’ of the Government can engage with members of the media.
3. Presidential Press Conferences
The President will hold press conferences to engage members of the media on major national issues, following major international engagements and as the need arises. All Ministers of Government are empowered to speak on issues that fall within their portfolio and have been directed to regularly engage with the press.
4. Recorded television interview
The President will participate in a statutory television programme, The Public Interest, as regularly and consistently as possible, each week. This is a 30 minute programme, where two journalists are allowed to ask questions on any topic of their choosing. As of January 2017, the programme format has been slightly adjusted to allow the entire programme to be open to topics of the interviewee’s choosing, rather than limited the first 10 minutes to a pre-set topic.
5. Other means of engagement
The President continues to be regularly accessible to members of the media, who do engage with him at public forums.