The media is a voice of information

Dear Colleagues,

I don’t consider myself an expert on media affairs but I do know I am passionate about the development of the profession in Grenada.

I was asked to comment on the recent instructions for CHIME FM, operated by George Grant of Grant’s Communnications, to cease and desist from broadcasting but I gave way to my colleagues in Grenada including the Media Workers Association of Grenada (MWAG).

I am still confused about the sequence of events and how this was handled by the NTRC but I want to make a few comments about MWAG.

I hope this is not taken as a personal attack on anyone since I know some of the executive members of MWAG. However, it’s my opinion that MWAG’s failure to do or say something is another example of the erosion of institutions and their independence in society.

MWAG’s activities will take bearing from the actions of the leadership of the association, and if the leadership fails to act as an institution representing media workers to address an issue of such magnitude then the integrity of the institution is being compromised and that weakens the institution and people will have less respect for MWAG.

So, it runs the risk that in future when MWAG makes a statement the public may be dismissive of it and that is a cause for great concern. This erosion of institutions takes away any credibility from the institutions and they have such an important role to play in national development.

I asked whether my colleagues are not aware of the framework which guides MWAG as an institution or a lack of understanding of the importance of their role.

If not, I want to remind them that among the founding principles of the revived MWAG are to protect the interests and rights of media workers in Grenada. These principles guided MWAG through some challenging years.

The media is a voice of information to its citizenry, so it will always be under attack and scrutiny and at times justifiable. But when that voice of information is gone or compromised then we have a poorly informed public and ultimately poor decisions will always be made.

Although it’s not defined in the Constitution, the media is the watchdog of any good governance or any good society.

While this is not a tacit endorsement, George Grant’s (CHIME FM) programming is beneficial to our nation because it provides us with a ‘world’ of knowledge that you don’t get anywhere else and as such media workers should be concerned. Its programming is aimed at providing information pertinent to the welfare of the nation, which is void of other radio stations.

MWAG could argue these points not as an endorsement but as to the importance of information.
So when my colleagues believed they were unfairly treated either by government, opposition or police, MWAG stood in solidarity. If it was important to us then, why it is not to George Grant now? Some colleagues even found refuge on Grant’s programme when they became voiceless!

Michael Bascombe
Former President, MWAG

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