MASL executive meets Minister for Info & Broadcasting

The Media Association and the Information Ministry have agreed to regular discussions.

Minister for Information and Broadcasting Dr James Fletcher, has committed to regular dialogue between his office and the executive of the Media Association of Saint Lucia (MASL). The Minister made the undertaking during an introductory meeting with the recently elected executive on Tuesday April 03.
President of MASL Clinton Reynolds led the executive in discussion with Dr Fletcher and Permanent Secretary Mr Philip Dalsou, as they defined the mandate of the organisation, exchanged views on the state of media and identified potential areas of collaboration.
Mr Reynolds explained that MASL would seek to assist in developing and maintaining a professional media on Saint Lucia, highlighting a just concluded training workshop as a step in that direction.  He stressed that MASL is not seeking to police the media but would work with ministry and other agencies, including workers representatives, to uphold standards. As the umbrella body, he said the association would be the channel for government, other organisations and individuals to communicate and share information with media in general.
The Minister shared concern on the quality of output from the media, the seeming lack of monitoring and adherence to minimum standards across the board. While he noted that government cannot control the size of market, he agreed that there must be standards and penalties where necessary, while allowing for flexibility, freedom and growth.
He also acknowledged the importance of training, saying his ministry was exploring avenues to avail aspiring media workers of such opportunities.
Among the areas of shared concern were rationalising the delivery of services to different categories of media and media personnel, facilitating the acquisition of equipment, the regulation of media accreditation, issuance of media cards, freedom of movement within the OECS and monitoring the role and development of new media.
The need for proper archiving of media work was also noted as an area of concern as was the development of a database of media houses and media workers.
While both sides agree that the meeting was a successful start to talks between the media and government, it was noted that there were still much to be done. One of the chief tasks is the appointment of a Director of Information Services, a position essential in managing the information and broadcasting sector.
The need to guard against any conflict of interest was also cited as an issue that would require constant attention.
Notwithstanding, Dr. James committed to participating in the MASL’s first certificate presentation ceremony.
The event on April 5, marked the conclusion of the three-week training course facilitated by award winning Canadian journalist Nick Foley and President of the ACM Wesley Gibbings, with guest facilitator Saint Lucian publisher Rick Wayne (OBE).

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