“If this is the reaction of our interest in important matters like these then as a media (fraternity), we need to reexamine our focus.
Those were the words used by Executive Director and Project Coordinator of the Grenada Human Rights Organisation (GHRO) Inc, Milton Coy, last week Thursday to express concerns about the low turnout of media practitioners to a two-day workshop held in preparation for the country’s first referendum on Constitution reform on October 27.
The workshop entitled, “Effective Communication” which was coordinated by CAMS Media Institute (CMI) in collaboration with GHRO Inc., was held last week Thursday and Friday at the National Stadium with only five media persons in attendance.
Commenting on the poor turnout and the important role the media plays in helping to educate the populace on the proposed amendments to the 1973 Grenada Constitution, Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the Parliamentary Electoral Office (PEO), Ferdinand Phillip, said, “You (media workers) have the power to make or break the whole process”.
According to Phillip, the workshop was not just geared to aid with “professional dispensation of information but is (also) for your (media workers) own personal development – so that when you write an article you speak from a position of knowledge”.
He said the poor turnout is a clear indication that the media has not developed enough interest in the referendum process.
Noting that the media’s responsibility is great, Phillip said: ‘I would be bold to say here that if all the media were sufficiently advised as to the importance of this process this room would be filled”.
“It’s an awesome responsibility”, said the Parliamentary Elections office official as he lamented the important role the media plays in the society.
THE NEW TODAY understands that some media houses claimed they did not receive any communication about the workshop.
The two-day session was also addressed by Senior Counsel in the Ministry of Legal Affairs, Robert Branch, who represents the Ministry on the Constitution Reform Advisory Committee (CRAC).
Branch engaged the participants on some key aspects of the proposed three-part Rights of Freedom Bill, which he cited as the most important of the bills going forward in the referendum.
GHRO Inc. is one of 10 organisations in the country to receive USD$5,000 in sponsorship funds from the United Nations Development Fund (UNDP) to hold public education seminars in preparation for the upcoming referendum.