A one-week visit to China by an eight-member media delegation from Grenada has given new insight into practicing new approaches on the job.
The Chinese Embassy in Grenada extended an invitation through the Media Workers Association of Grenada (MWAG) for several of the island’s
reporters employed with mainly newspapers and one radio station to visit China during the month of November.
The representatives came from New Today newspaper, Grenada Informer, Grenadian Voice, and Caribupdate while the one radio station was Wee FM.
The journalists spent five days in China visiting different media entities, Museums and Parks in both Shanghai and the capital city of Beijing.
Heading the delegation was part owner of Caribupdate Weekly, Hamlet Mark, Senior Advisor on Information to Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell who described the trip as one of success.
“It was a hectic and packed week, maybe we could’ve interacted more with some of the local media houses in both places but that said I think the experience would’ve been positive and well executed by the team from both a cultural point of view and a media point of view”, he said.
“We’ve interacted at both levels and it was a hectic week – ideally we could’ve done an extra week but we know how those things go, cost and everything else but all in all I think it was a wonderful experience,” he added.
According to Mark, what stood out from the visit to him were the different visits to the various Chinese media houses.
“The highlight of the trip would be different for everyone but from the media point of view I would say the interaction with the publishing house in Beijing and with ICS (International Channel Shanghai) in Shanghai. It was a little disappointing that we could not go to CCTV which I think would’ve been the highlight of the week but we know how those things go”, he remarked.
“…Every experience is a good experience, especially when you get to interact with different cultural landscapes so of course any visit like that should be encouraged, I think from both the Media Workers Association end and the (Chinese) Embassy end, there is a commitment to do more of that in 2015 and I think the more exposure our colleagues can get from visiting China or wherever else will be welcomed,” he said.
Mark stated that he found the operations of media houses in China and Grenada are basically the same except with respect to the scale at which the Chinese do perform.
“We all have small operations in Grenada, it’s a different landscape all together in China because of the scale of how they do things and if you really think about it, the concepts are basically the same where they go but it’s just the ability to deliver on the concept because of the scale of the equipment, the human resource they have that we don’t.
“I think the challenge for us all (as) we go along is to figure out, given our limitations, how can we best deliver a product that is acceptable to our listeners and viewers (readers) even understanding that we have our limitations in terms of resources and so on.
The state hired worker stressed that it would be a plus to the media in Grenada, if managers got the opportunity the reporters had of interacting with their counterparts in China.
“I think the problem in Grenada is a media management problem and not a worker problem and sometimes maybe you hope that at the managers level, there will be interactions like that for them to learn and to accept basic concepts….”, he said.
“…I believe the biggest challenge with media in Grenada is management more than workers, more than resources. We have our limitations yes, but I think there is a lack of vision from the management level – if we can get the managers to go on sessions like that it will be useful for everybody,” he added.
Mark said it would give him great pleasure to host a media delegation from China in Grenada at some point in time.
Representative from the Grenadian Voice Newspaper, Anisha Samuel described the visit as “a great and memorable one”.
“I was most impressed with the developments. It was interesting to learn that media there and home face similar challenges and the main solutions lie in proper management and use of technology and adapting to new (methods) to collect and get the news out”, she remarked.
I am now more open and motivated to embrace the change that is before us if our various news entities especially newspapers are to remain relevant,” she said.