7 February 2007

Alert

State-owned companies follow government's withdrawal of advertising for newspaper


Incident details

newspaper(s)

other
(IPI/IFEX) - The following is a 6 February 2007 IPI press release:

Vienna, 6 February 2007

IPI Says Pressure on Guyanese Newspaper Continues as State-Owned Companies also Withdraw Advertising

Following the Guyanese government's recent decision to halt advertising in the Stabroek News, it now appears that a number of state-owned companies, who have their own advertising policies, have also decided to do the same.

According to information provided to IPI, the Guyana Sugar Corporation (Guysuco) and the Guyana Power and Light (GPL) have also withdrawn advertising from the Stabroek News.

Both companies reportedly have the same Chairman, Ronald Ali, who has stated that he was unaware of the situation. Ali has promised to investigate, but has so far failed to offer an explanation to the newspaper.

The Stabroek News believes that the instructions were given directly to those individuals responsible for placing advertising in the media. As a result, the boards of the companies were unaware of the policy change.

Commenting on the case, IPI Director Johann P. Fritz said, "The decision is an indication that the government has decided to increase its pressure on the Stabroek News."

"I would encourage the government to refrain from further inflaming the situation and invite it to examine other ways of resolving the problem."

"The distribution of advertising is an unfair weapon in the hands of government, which can endanger freedom of the press. Governments believing in democracy must look at ways of removing this power and creating procedures that ensure advertising is distributed in an open and transparent manner," said Fritz.



Source

International Press Institute
Spiegelgasse 2
1010 Vienna
Austria
ipi (@) freemedia.at
Fax:+43 1 5129014
Guyana
 
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