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A Call for Caribbean Media Workers to Set Priorities

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Contact: Primus Hutchinson

Tuesday, December 02, 2003 - There has been a strong appeal for Caribbean media workers to gird up their loins to help redirect the focus of the Caribbean society.

Speaking at a two-day biennial general meeting of the Association of Caribbean Media Workers, held here over the weekend, President of the Association of Caribbean Media Workers, (ACM), Wesley Gibbings, called upon his colleagues to put their shoulders to the wheel to help steer the region in the right direction.

Gibbings emphasized that Caribbean media workers need to be more assertive in their endeavour to intervene in various developments in the region. He added that at such a critical period in the history of the Caribbean region, it is incumbent upon media workers to play a key role in that regard.

“We need intervention at all different levels. Our societies are in crisis; they are dying, they are going to crash. We need to provide leadership to our people in the region, to help us get to the next stage of development,” Gibbings said.

Gibbings also drew the attention of media managers and owners to the important responsibility they owe to their staff. The ACM president emphasised that media workers specialised methods of operation, demand that they receive particular attention.

According to Gibbings, the single most important resource in any media institution, are those people in the news room, and the credibility and integrity they bring to that media institution will all be lost, if they continue to be treated with indifference and insignificance.

Media workers from a number of Caribbean countries attended the two day meeting which took place, November 28, and 29, at the Alliance Francaise at Point Seraphine. Among the issues discussed, were a Caribbean media pass, the performance of national associations, and the Journalist of the Year Award.

Meanwhile, senior lecturer at the Caribbean Institute of Media and Communications, CARIMAC, Mona Campus, at the University of the West Indies in Jamaica, Canute James, called upon Caribbean journalists to adopt a new approach to reporting on issues in the region.

James, who delivered the keynote address at the meeting, indicated that reporting on social issues particularly, has placed greater demand on journalists to develop a new attitude. This new attitude, James said, is compelling journalists not only to take account of developments, but also to put such developmental issues in context with a high degree of interpretation and analysis.

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