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The Guardian Media Ltd remains committed to the highest principles of journalism. Managing director Gabriel Faria yesterday assured that the media entity was in full support of “fair, balanced and accurate reporting by its reporters.” He said he has been fully supportive of the media team, and that the group has been providing the necessary training and equipment to compete at the highest level.
Faria, who continues to head the media group, also said Judy Raymond remains editor-in-chief of the Guardian newspaper. “Judy is the editor-in-chief. Nothing has changed. She has agreed in a discussion with me earlier this week to actually go offline to work on the development of a more robust editorial policy that will set the tone for the way we do our reporting, to ensure, that again, we provide the highest quality of reporting which is unbiased, accurate and fair.”
According to Faria, only two members of the editorial staff had resigned, adding that more than 100 journalists across the media group remain committed to the organisation. He made it clear that the company has not been bowing to pressure from the political directorate of the day, and that any new policy directive that the company has embarked upon is based on its continued thrust to improve the quality of journalism in the country.
“I have no idea what they are talking about,” he said in response to claims that there was political interference. He also stated categorically that he had not received calls from any government minister or any politician with respect to a recent Guardian report about an HDC-leased Range Rover used by a government minister. On whether he received any calls from anyone in the Government, Faria said, “I received no calls.”
The managing director added, “I know there were some concerns because we were trying to improve the standards of our journalism, which meant that our journalists had to do more work...do more background checks to make sure that we provide a full perspective on all the stories. Maybe some people feel it was asking too much.” Faria reiterated that he has been fully supportive of the editorial team.
“I have been fully supportive of our team of journalists. We have recently improved our editorial infrastructure. In fact, our level of training has gone up significantly in an aim to ensure that what we produce is of the highest quality,” he said. “We want to lift the standard of journalism and it means doing more work. And the only thing I can assume is that people feel that is unreasonable. I don’t know, that’s unfortunate...”
Faria noted that while some people may not be comfortable with changes, in the media environment change is inevitable. “I have never and no management person has ever told reporters what to write, what not to write or what stories to pursue. And we have no plans to do that. We do want to make sure that we provide a complete story to our readers so they walk away fully knowledgeable of all the facts.”
On the 1996 walkout from the Guardian newsroom based on political pressure from the then government, Faria said he did not have all the facts since he was not employed with the company at the time. “I don’t have all the details of what happened in 1996. The reason we are talking here is to ensure that we communicate to our audience and employees our commitment to the highest standards of journalism.”
To employees of Guardian Media Ltd, Guardian readers, those who listen to the company’s radio stations and watch CNC3, Faria assured it will be business as usual. “Look out for the next big scoop!” he said.