It was a pleasure to see Senator Ray Roberts, Lew Smith, Josephine McGuire, Gail Purcell and even MP Alvin Dabreo (in his capacity as a media owner) at the Awards Ceremony of the Media Workers Association of Grenada (MWAG).
It demonstrates hope, and hopefully, MWAG will understand the wisdom in seeking their advice and support.
I have nothing personally against Senator Winston Garraway but I noticed something about him Sunday. Although we attended High School together, it’s the first time I am seeing the gentleman since he was appointed a government Senator. And after reading and hearing so many things about his attitude and disposition, I am not surprised of what transpired at the Media Awards last Sunday.
My personal observation:
The Senator approached his seat on the head table and, on two occasions, I said “Good Evening” to him but I can’t recall him responding. But that’s irrelevant.
My visit was short so I wanted to observe as much as possible so I made numerous glances to specific individuals during my presentation (another story to tell).
But while the debate continues on the Senator’s comments which sparked a diplomatic “protest,” what struck me as unfortunate is the failure of the Parliamentary Secretary to use the opportunity to outline — at least at the minimum — a policy statement.
He has direct responsibilities for the Government Information Service (GIS) and they were well represented. And at least, at the minimum, to congratulate some of them for their outstanding work — including awards.
Senator Garraway is out of touch and he was talking out of control on Sunday night. No wonder he was saying so many things that didn’t sync with the evening’s programme.
He said he was representing the Prime Minister and in my opinion he did a terrible job. I would have advised Senator Garraway to speak about an inherent free and independent Grenadian media, where public authourities, private sector and interest groups may not interfere in the content. This freedom of expression is laid down in the Grenadian Constitution and, while attempts have been made to curtail its significance, generally it’s upheld.
But the government must support and protect the media; and ensure that they represent a variety of viewpoints and are accessible to and affordable for everyone in Grenada.
I would also have advised the Senator to speak about a media policy which must ensure that the media can operate independently and a varied range of information is provided from a diversed media — representing all the opinions present in Grenadian society. Only then can people form their own opinions objectively, based on information from the media.
Ensure the media are accessible. Everyone must be able to receive radio and television programmes via an antenna, cable or satellite. Internet, radio and television connections must also be affordable for everyone. Also ensure the media provide quality. The media must produce good programmes and articles, etc.
The Prime Minister must ensure that when he is represented at official functions, whoever is chosen can do so with some level of sincerity and relevancy.