ST JOHN’S, Antigua (SKNIS) -- Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda Baldwin Spencer has dubbed the Caribbean region’s journalists as “agents of change” when it comes to the promotion of regional integration.
Spencer emphasized this at the opening of the broadcasters regional integration and CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) workshop in Antigua recently.
Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer presenting as the featured speaker at the workshop. SKNIS photo
“I believe that workshops like this offer media practitioners the opportunity to tell the region’s story more accurately and in a manner that the average Caribbean person can appreciate,” Spencer outlined. “I believe that broadcasters are champions of educating the public.”
While carrying out this means of enlightenment, general secretary of the Association of Caribbean Media Workers, Wesley Gibbins, encouraged his colleagues to ensure that the populace of the Caribbean was given only the most accurate information.
“We have moved into a different dimension of the integration process,” Gibbins stressed. “And it is vitally important that the persons charged with the responsibility of ensuring that the people of this region are acquainted with the processes and the systems that are in place to ensure their survival as sovereign people – that those carriers, those gatekeepers, those messengers are adequately equip with the information that they require to accurately portray the reality.”
Vice president of the Caribbean Broadcasting Union (CBU) Gary Allen advised that it was important to have a reinvigorated approach to the integration process and toward CSME. He noted this in the context of the many factors that are competing for the attention of Caribbean residents.
“In an age of speed, a communication era from markets to people, and social networks being pervasive, media today, business discussions and activities that take place are all contending for our attention,” Allen noted. “I urge all of us to recognize that 25 years in that context can seem like a very long time and it is in that that we are being judged as regionalists.”
Salas Hamilton, CARICOM Secretariat communications specialist, noted that during the year CARICOM would host a similar session for journalists who work in the print medium.