Congratulations to all who entered stories and above all to the respective winners’ of trophies in Sunday’s Seventh DIGICEL Media awards at the Trade Centre!
When the event was pioneered seven years ago the objective was to give recognition to those who produced excellent work in various areas of the media and to encourage higher standards in the profession.
No doubt about it, TV journalism has seen some improvements, and print to a lesser extent. Unfortunately, radio has declined to an all time low! The exceptions are a handful of veterans!
Of extreme concern, however, is what is left of the Media Workers’ Association of Grenada (MWAG)! It is now the pride and palace of the President rather than a dynamic advocacy group of media practitioners.
The organisation, which became prominent during the People’s Revolutionary Government (PRG) era and revived in the aftermath of the collapse of the revolution in 1983, is literally kidnapped by the President and one or two of his followers.
In two successive years not a single meeting of the members was called, although the constitution requires meetings every quarter and a general meeting by December 8 each year.
The Constitution also limits Presidents to two successive terms in office. The current President replaced Michael Bascombe in 1995 when he migrated to the USA and remains steadfast and unshaken.
While remaining in office entrenched, the President spears no one who challenges his authority. He lambasted those who have requested that he calls a meeting of the Association. On his celebrated Facebook page he has condemned individuals as propagandists of the government.
The Prime Minister and his government have been accused of tampering with press freedom, and using surrogates to influence the work of journalists.
Expect Rawle Titus to aggressively use the goodwill of the DIGICEL sponsorship of the Media Awards to praise himself for defending the free media in Grenada, and at the same time endeavouring to destroy the character of his considered foes.
Rawle is often quick to highlight that under his leadership media workers have gone to Jamaica and trained which is excellent; however, not a single financial report has come to the membership re the financial support MWAG received from friendly organisations in the last two years.
No one is accusing him or any other of wrongdoing! Let it be known that MWAG’s Constitution speaks of a financial report to members each year during the AGM.
Unfortunately, people like Secretary Nicole Best, who is also Secretary of the Association of Caribbean Media Workers and Journalist Linda Straker have tolerated Rawle’s abuse of the Media Workers Association, and shamelessly making himself the undisputed champion of press freedom!
What does this say about the integrity of the Association? It lacks credibility!
The media is often referred to as the Fourth Estate in the democratic process but Rawle’s leadership leaves the local association with a huge deficit.
Of the five people elected two years ago, the 1st Vice-President Anthony Greenidge died, while another claimed to have resigned therefore just Rawle and two people have control over an organisation of 40 plus.
He has withdrawn the MWAG from serving on various government committees including the media policy and during that period has not consulted or called a meeting to hear members’ views.
In MWAG’s name, Reporters without Boarders and the Caribbean Media Workers Association have both raised concerns about press freedom in Grenada, and Rawle himself has identified his own members as propagandists for the government without making the evidence available.
One would hope that Wesley Gibbins, President of the Association of Caribbean Media Workers, and even the sponsors of the Media Awards, DIGICEL would advise President Rawle Titus that being President-for-life is a recipe for the destruction of the Association.
The likes of Leslie Pierre, George Worme, Wayne Modeste, and Rae Roberts and others have all handed over to others.
Several media workers have kept silence saying their current leaders see the association as their vehicle to be in the forefront and enjoy trips overseas.
In fact, if Rawle calls a meeting today, he would do well to see many senior media workers attending. He has snapped the life out of the members through share arrogance!