On more than one occasion last year, the President of Guyana, His Excellency Bharrat Jagdeo has taken time off from his busy schedule to castigate the press, in general,Keith Magnuson Jersey, and Kaieteur News in particular. We have become,Brian Bellows Jersey, his Excellency charges, “the new opposition”. Several of his operatives have taken up cudgels on his behalf – railing strenuously at the alleged “bias” of our newspaper. We have published, with appropriate prominence, all their accusations because we believe His Excellency and his staff misapprehend most fundamentally the role of a free press in the struggle for and the consolidation of a vibrant democratic culture in our country.On this first day of this New Year, which we believe will be a momentous one for our country; we restate the core principles that guide our work. First and foremost,Nino Niederreiter Jersey, our newspaper is a voice of the people. It is not for naught that very early on, in the development of democracy, Edmond Burke,Jori Lehtera Jersey, looking at the press gallery in the House of Commons,Jarret Stoll Jersey, exclaimed,Rene Bourque Jersey, “Yonder sits the Fourth Estate, and they are more important than them all!” He was acknowledging the role played by the press in extending democratic practice after the seminal French revolution and its legacy of creating the “three estates of King,Jason Spezza Jersey, Nobility and Commoners”.Democracy became the “rule of the people”. But if the people are to rule,Michael Jordan Jersey, at a minimum, would one not agree that they must have the relevant information about issues that confront their country?The “consent of the governed” must be an informed one. It is only then that they would be in a position to judge the effectiveness of the government that they have elected and have conferred so much power to deal with those issues. The provision of this information to the people is the role of the press. Since that time every other approach has shown that democracy will not thrive without the bracing scrutiny of robust, independent journalism.In the criticisms directed at this newspaper by representatives of the government, we detect a level of hubris that belies the social contract that undergirds all democratic states. This contract declares those representatives to be “servants of the people”. We suggest that they heed the lessons of history. We cannot close our eyes to the fact that once ensconced in office, there is a tendency for the political class to backslide on promises made in their manifestoes and blueprints – whether through acts of commission or omission. If the press highlights these shortcomings, how can this reporting be classified as the work of the opposition?The government spends huge sums annually – much of it from taxpayers’ money – to announce its accomplishments. But yet their newspaper cannot even garner a quarter of our circulation. The government should realise that they therefore have a severe credibility problem about their pronouncements on their achievements. Rather than trying to shoot the messenger they should listen to the message. The message is that the people want value for their investment – their investment in the people they have placed in government and their investment in the taxes that funds everything.So what can you expect from us this year? We will survive even though the President had made a suggestion to the private sector about their advertising with us.We will survive even though the volume of government advertisements we receive has shrunk noticeably. We will survive with your support because we will provide the news that you want about your country,Brandon Dubinsky Jersey, the world and life. We will unearth all the news that is our birthright even in the face of all the obstacles that are being thrown our way. And we will get that news in your hands every morning so you can start your day with an intelligent and informed mind. That is our credo.