Wednesday, May 21, 2008

The proof of the paper is in it's printing

Peeping Tom on new pro-government paper


Kaieteur News has nothing to fear from the new newspaper that is due to come on stream soon. Kaieteur News is not worried at all about another newspaper being published in Guyana.

Those who in their haughtiness may be deluding themselves that we are insecure because of the proposed new investment in a newspaper printery should disabuse themselves of this notion before they choke on their own hubris.We are a known quantity.

We are a household name in Guyana. We are the people’s paper.Kaieteur News has nothing to fear. Kaieteur News has proven itself. We are not a fly-by-night publication. We are not an overnight newspaper. We are not trying to establish ourselves. We have been around for quite some time; in fact soon it will be fifteen years since our establishment.

In that time we have become firmly entrenched in this country. We have an unselfish commitment to our readers. The public knows about Kaieteur News; the Caribbean knows about Kaieteur News; the world knows about Kaieteur News. We have established ourselves as the leading newspaper in Guyana and we did that without any favours from anyone.

For the first ten years of our existence, we did not receive a single advertisement from the government. We survived the longest drought ever. Any other newspaper would have folded up in such circumstances. At the start of our newspaper, the private sector was not as advertising conscious as it is today, and therefore there were not many ads to go after.

Most of the other newspapers looked towards government ads to bolster their revenues to keep them afloat.Kaieteur News has been through rough times. Our printery was torched during the crime wave of 2001- 2004. No one offered us any duty free concessions at the time to get ourselves back on our feet. Another major tragedy was to follow.

In 2006, we had a most shocking incident at our printery when our workers were placed to lie face down on the ground and cold-bloodedly executed. This incident sent shockwaves throughout the world. Nothing before of this nature had ever happened to the media before.Imagine how traumatized it left our staff. Most other newspapers would have closed shop.

But we have a publisher who is deeply concerned - has always been and will always be - about the well-being of his staff - and decided even while reeling from that blow that he would have to find a way to keep going. He was not going to put his faithful staff on the breadline.

A decision was taken that the printery had to be removed because the remaining staff were fearful of working in that area. We had to construct an entire new building next to our offices and in the process we were forced to secure a new press just so to keep up with the competition.

This cost us a great deal of money and we were not granted any favours by anyone. We paid our duties and taxes on the press that we imported.We have been around the block. We have taken our knocks and we are still here. We shall still be here long after the new kids who have arrived would have left. We are not worried about competition; we thrive on that. We believe in competition. We believe it brings out the best in all of us and helps us to improve.

We have a publisher who has made a name for himself. He has proven himself. Without any background in the newspaper business and without any expert help he has turned the Kaieteur News into the country’s top daily. He understands this business better than some of those who feel that they were born to be in the newspaper industry.

He is a maverick.Glenn Lall is not interested in making money. He is interested in making a difference. He loves his country. He wants to see progress and development. He has principles; he has character; he has fortitude.He tells you things as he sees it.

He is not ever going to be diplomatic or evasive. When he sees wrong he will call it by its name; when he sees good he will do the same. This is the kind of person that Guyana needs. The President of Guyana himself had to once admit that Guyana needs more Glenn Lalls.

With someone like this at the helm, the Kaieteur News is not going to be worried about any new newspaper coming on stream. We are not going to lose sleep over it.Let the new newspaper come on stream. We welcome it. So it is said; so shall be done. Amen.

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