The local media have been cautioned against publishing stories relating to government’s action without first verifying its authenticity.
It was done Saturday night at what was referred to as a “Meet and Greet session” for senior managers and editors of media houses to meet with the Government’s Communication Team at Mt. Cinnamon Hotel at Morne Rouge, St. George’s.
Prime Minister and Minister of Information, Dr. Keith Mitchell told the press corp that the local media still needed to do a lot more investigative work.
Stating that he had never attended a journalism school, he said he believes that this is one of the fundamental principles that should guide Journalists.
“I just think it’s basic human principles that we do give the person that is being accused an opportunity first before we put out what we perceive,” he added.
According to PM Mitchell, back in power for a second stint, government by its nature would always have issues of concern with information that is disseminated.
“What I ask is simply this, whenever something comes out as an action of government and someone reports it, all I ask of the press is that it gives government a chance to hear its side of the story,” he said.
The Prime Minister credited the late Dr. Alistair Hughes, and Leslie Pierre who has now retired with conducting a level of investigative work as journalists.
The Grenadian Leader said he expects the media to be truthful and constructive and was happy that this is a time in the country when it is recognised that the only way forward is for everyone to work together.
He said enough has happened over the years “that has convinced all of us that this is a complete new period and that all of us has to march to the tune,” he remarked.
“Unless we march together, none of us will win,” he added.
Parliamentary Secretary in the Prime Minister’s Ministry with Responsibility for Information, Senator Winston Garraway gave assurances that members of the government will always be at the disposal of the media.
Sen. Garraway charged information that is disseminated will have to promote Grenada, and to give an opportunity to the young people to be able to be respected when they travel.
“You, as the media, have that role to play to ensure that our people would be respected,” he said.
The government’s Communication’s Team includes the newly appointed Press Secretary to the Prime Minister, Kisha Alexander Grant, Senior Advisor to the Prime Minister on Communications, Information and Media Relations, Hamlet Mark who moderated the session, and head of the Government Information Service (GIS), Rawle Titus.
Checks made by this newspaper indicate that Grant was named in a document allegedly submitted by Mark to Mitchell’s NNP in opposition as part of his team that could be hired to help remake the image of the re-elected Prime Minister for the February 19 general elections.
According to the document, the outfit that was operating out of the United States was asking the NNP for a monthly sum of EC$27, 984.07 on contract to help with their re-election bid.
Grant called on the media to co-operate with the government, as there is a lot of work and engagements to be done.
“Whatever we do, we do it with integrity,” she said.
Titus who admitted to having had a checkered relationship with Dr. Mitchell in the past said there is nothing wrong with his new role of promoting his government.
“I know the Prime Minister himself has a particular view of public information. He likes to see things happen, more people know what’s happening… and I’m there with him,” he told the session.
Titus said he was looking forward to his new role as Head of GIS, which gives him an opportunity to show the other side of his talent in the field of journalism.
In his previous 13-tear stint as Prime Minister, Dr. Mitchell was often at loggerheads with local journalists and had taken out several legal actions against many members of the fraternity.