Three former senior reporters of the Kaieteur News have detailed a toxic work environment in which they were sometimes forced to sit through radio programmes featuring lies and distortions by the newspaper’s publisher; the reporters decided to speak out after they were criticised by the publisher over their decision to leave the company and take up careers elsewhere.
Kemol King and Mikaila Prince took to Facebook on Wednesday and released screenshots of a Whatsapp message from the publisher, Glenn Lall, who rebuked them for resigning from the local daily.
They both noted that they were forced to sit through Lall’s daily radio programmes where he spewed “inaccuracies and untruths relating to the oil and gas sector.”
King wrote, “I will not compromise my integrity, to prop up paper and ad sales at the expense of truth and accuracy. It almost broke me, having to sit in on that radio show, in complicit silence, while he told this country whatever was sensational enough, no matter how far removed it was from the truth.”
Prince wrote, “I was forced to sit in on his radio shows where he spewed inaccuracies and untruths relating to the oil and gas sector.”
These allegations were also corroborated by their colleague, Shikema Dey, who said she too was subjected to the same treatment. Dey, too, resigned from the entity.
The Kaieteur News has been at the forefront of reporting on Guyana’s emerging oil and gas sector, alleging blatant corruption and even once published a satirical article as truth.
“It is a narrative that completely absolves him of the responsibility to treat his staff like people, instead of property.
“This is just a snippet of how difficult it was for me to leave this job. I had panic attacks because I worried about what the repercussions would be, once I finally decided to leave. My mental health is still recovering from the Kaieteur News environment,” King noted on Facebook.
The former employees gained popularity during their reporting on the oil and gas sector and Guyana’s 2020 general and regional elections.
Lall has not publicly responded to the claims.