St. George’s, December 10, 2012 – Grenada government ministers continue their public complaints about media reports they say put the country in a bad light.
“Daily attacks’’ in externally based media are designed to “damage our image abroad,’’ Prime Minister and Minister of Information, Tillman Thomas, said Sunday at a rally of his ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC).
It was the second time in a week that Thomas had openly chastised the press.
The prime minister, addressing an awards’ ceremony of the Media Workers Association of Grenada on December 2, urged journalists to be accurate and responsible and “not put spin on issues. Journalists must just report the facts and educate the public”.
He warned if journalists enter the arena of politics “then they will be dealt as a politician,” adding that “the only time I complain about journalist and the media is when they are being dishonest and deceptive”.
Thomas charged Sunday that reporters are attempting to “undermine’’ his government by presenting it as “dictatorial, self-serving and undemocratic’’.
His Education Minister, Franka Bernadine, alleged that there are journalists who are being paid to “broadcast misinformation in the region’’ about Grenada.
Grenada and its people are hurting with “all this negative stories,’’ said Bernadine, who is expected to seek a parliamentary seat as the NDC’s candidate for the Town of St. George in general elections scheduled for next year.
In recent weeks, Finance Minister Nazim Burke has also expressed unhappiness with press reporting and the name of at least one journalist, Hamlet Mark, was said to have been discussed at length at a cabinet meeting.
Mark is a popular political commentator and director with the Miami-based media outfit, Caribupdate News, that is often first to report on developments in Grenada.
Burke, in an apparent reference to Mark in a recent radio interview, said: “This person has taken a very strong dedicated commitment to try to bring the government down.”
The deputy leader of the NDC, and MP for St. George North East, Burke is among several people already endorsed by their constituencies as their election candidates.
Others include 20-year-old Ali Dowden, who will be trying to oust former Prime Minister Keith Mitchell as MP for St. George North West. Dr. Mitchell has represented the constituency for 28 years.
The future of businessman Randal Robinson, who is endorsed by NDC supporters in St. George South East, rests with a high court ruling expected on Wednesday.
Former Foreign Minister Karl Hood, who was expelled from the NDC in September, is challenging the party’s action in court.
A ruling in Hood’s favour could put a halt to Robinson’s political activities in the constituency and affect his chances of running for the NDC in the upcoming polls.
Hood won St. George South East as one of 11 victorious NDC candidates in elections in 2008.
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