Renewed hope!!!

A relatively new and young group has now taken up the mantle of leadership within the Media Workers Association of Grenada (MWAG).

THE NEW TODAY welcome the new and fresh “Turks” who have been placed at the helm of the local media body in order to help bring back some self-esteem and worth to the media fraternity.

The newly elected President of MWAG, Freelance Sports Journalist, Kern Mason, has been quick to admit that many persons consider the organisation to be dormant and the task ahead is to breathe new life into it.

Mr. Mason is well poised to take up the mantle since he can draw on the experience of his elder brother, Michael Bascombe, a former President of the association himself.

There are many other senior journalists on the island whose experiences and wealth of knowledge can be tapped upon, the likes of Lew Smith, George Grant, Paul Roberts, and Richard Simon.

The new MWAG executive should be mindful of those in our midst with a heavy political agenda who will attempt to infiltrate the organisation for their own good.

This newspaper is sure that if the post of President had gone a particular way then the organisation would have easily fall into the hands of those with a political agenda.

In looking ahead, the new executive should understand that the road ahead will not be an easy one and a lot of work is needed to win back the confidence of many practitioners in the country.

The Mason-led executive will have to embark upon serious fund-raising since the membership dues is a drop in the ocean as regards the funds that are needed to do the things that are so badly needed.

It has to expand beyond looking out each year for funds from a few good corporate citizens to stage Media week activities and the annual Awards function.

The association should take the lead in organising workshops to improve the skills of its membership.

The island has enough talent available on the ground to help with the training aspects of media workers.

Grenada has too many untrained on-air persons in the various FM radio stations in operation.

A respectable organisation like MWAG should help in setting up the platform to assist the owners and operators of these radio stations to get better quality and competent persons to do the job.

Not only is the language used by some of these on-air persons poor in taste but lacking in proper grammatical construction.

A well-educated Grenadian was heard to say that he refuses to expose his children to some of the radio stations out of fear that these on-air persons will “unlearn” his children and make them become “very dunce” in school.

This prevailing situation is aided and abetted by the owners of some media houses who are not prepared to pay higher salaries to attract better quality workers.

The country has just lost one of its better practitioners in the print media in the person of Wayne Modeste, the former Editor of THE NEW TODAY newspaper and there is no talent around that can replace him.

Mr. Modeste along with Mr. Johnson Richardson of the Grenada Informer was the last two breeds in that vintage aspect of the profession.

In addition, the media landscape is now being taken over by females as the wider problem in the society of the dirt of employable male is also affecting the media profession.

It is an issue for MWAG to address in the hope of finding a solution since the right mix of male and female are needed to plight the trade.

MWAG should also take up the mantle to push forward to get our Parliamentarians to pass the Freedom of Information Act based on the commitment given by the former National Democratic Congress (NDC) of former Prime Minister Tillman Thomas.

The act can empower the individual journalist or media house to get the information about the activities of their government in the interest of the public.

Without the Freedom of Information act, the politicians will continue to have a field day as is the case with the Integrity Commission in which declarations of assets are made but hidden under lock and key from the glare of  public scrutiny.

Those who are seeking public office should be prepared to expose their assets so the public can determine whether Politician A has 3 or 5 houses and Politician B has declared all his assets including property located in the United States or inside Grenada.

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