ST GEORGE’S, Grenada -- Grenadian journalists are blaming government for the dismissal of a reporter at an independently weekly, The Grenada Advocate.
The paper is owned and controlled by the proprietors of the Barbados Advocate.
Rawle Titus, who is president of the Media Workers Association of Grenada (MWAG), was a senior reporter at The Grenada Advocate.
MWAG, in a statement issued Monday, claimed that the Prime Minister’s Office “pressured” the paper’s owners into firing Titus over a news item that was published March 9 in The Grenada Advocate.
“The Media Workers Association of Grenada is calling on the Tillman Thomas administration to match its words with appropriate action in regards to media freedom in the country. We have growing concerns about increasing incidents that will suggest that those guarantees are coming under attack,” MWAG’s statement said.
The Advocate’s story was titled, “Prime Minister makes fresh moves.”
It reported on what it called a “second caucus” by Thomas in which most of his MPs and senior members of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) were said to have been excluded.
The paper described the development as an additional sign that the NDC “will go into next year’s general elections as a divided party,” and that the prime minister has a preferred slate of candidates for the polls.
MWAG said that prior to the dismissal of Titus, “two letters of complaint were written by the Prime Minister’s Press Secretary demanding an apology” for the publication of the story.
“This latest incident follows a series of other developments we have been monitoring in the past,” said MWAG.
“In one instance, an official claiming to call from the Prime Minister’s Office, called a local radio station questioning the reason why one of its announcers were reading on-air, an online blog that was deemed critical of the administration. In another instance, one radio station was also queried about the possibility of dropping a regional radio news service after it aired a series of reports on the Grenada political situation.”
The association said its members “take an extremely dim view of any attempt to bring pressure, no matter how subtle, on any media company.”