Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : May 16th 2015 Contents Saturday, May 16, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
UNESCO's (United Nations Educational,
Scienti c and Cultural Organization) Theme
for World Press Freedom Day 2015 is:
"Let Journalism Thrive! Towards Better
Reporting, Gender Equality, & Media Safety
in the Digital Age"
UNESCO contends: "Every year, 3 May is a date
which celebrates the fundamental principles of
press freedom; to evaluate press freedom around
the world, to defend the media from attacks on their
independence and to pay tribute to journalists who
have lost their lives in the exercise of their profession."
This year's theme hits at the very essence of issues
that compound the media here in Trinidad and
The objectives of the Trinidad and Tobago
Publishers and Broadcasters Association include:
The responsibility to protect and preserve the right of the people to know; the
responsibility and undertaking to encourage practices that will strengthen and
maintain the broadcast and publishing industry by improving industry standards
through education and acknowledgement of organisations and individuals who have
contributed signi cantly to the industry.
The TTPBA is instrumental in the creation of a legal framework and regulations
by representing its members through discussion, suggestions and objections with
governmental and other agencies who impact on the media sphere and exists
to encourage an exchange of information among members that will assist the
Association in making decisions that affect the broadcast and publishing industry
Within recent years the core focus of the TTPBA has been on improving the skill
set of our practitioners by hosting workshops and training forums in the interest
of better standards for our industry; in addition to being proactive with respect to
legislation and regulation of our dynamic and changing media environment.
The glass ceiling of gender equality seems to have been broken in the local media
industry as many of our CEOs, editors, managers, and reporters are now women.
However, our ght comes with a political twist as evidenced in our newsrooms
where there have been instances of female reporters and journalists being publicly
tarnished. It is a matter of concern which we are closely observing.
The Digital Age is here and we continue to see that the digital transition is taking
place and does pose many nancial questions on what the media is to do with
its core competence. Social media is fast becoming the quick form of news
transmission. Establishing a formidable position in this fused media environment
is another challenge that has become a daily routine as we seek to incorporate
the interests of the public we serve. With social media the truth can be frayed with
pranksters and bloggers propagating yellow journalism.
Despite the many issues and challenges, the TTPBA will continue to champion its
main objective: "The responsibility to protect and preserve the right of the people
to know." We salute the dedicated and diligent men and women who function in all
areas of our organizations who contribute to making this objective a reality
The TTPBA joins the world in celebrating World Press Freedom Day 2015 (Sunday
May 3) in Trinidad and Tobago.
Daren Lee Sing
the People's Right to Know
Daren Lee Sing, President
of the Trinidad and Tobago
Publishers and Broadcasters
The following is the statement by the Trinidad & Tobago
Publishers & Broadcasters Association (TTPBA) on the
Commemoration of World Press Freedom
-- Sunday May 3, 2015.
Media Complaints Council
The People's Station Radio 90.5
Let Your Heart & Soul Dance
Talk City 91.1 FM
Your address for talk
Celebrating Passion and Culture!
Boom Champions 94.1
Star 947 HD
The Best Mix
The Most In uential Name in Radio
96 Number One
The Bigger 96
Music Radio 97
More Music. Less Talk
ISAAC 98.1 FM
The Next Level of Radio
Inform Inspire Empower
A New Awakening
The First. The Finest
Radio for Women, and the Men Who Love Them
Ebony 104.1 FM
Feel the Music
Vibe CT 105 FM
The Nation's Station
the Super Station Where Bollywood Comes Alive
Awakening the Mind and Spirit
Music for Life
Members of the TTPBA
Trinidad and Tobago Guardian
Trinidad Express Newspapers
Trinidad and Tobago Newsday
The Media Complains Council (MCC) came into being in 1997 after the then Government
tried to have passed in Parliament the infamous Green Paper on Media. In May 1997,
the government published a report entitled "Toward a Free and Responsible Media,"
which proposed the adoption of statutes requiring journalists to report with "due accuracy
and impartiality." The so-called "green paper" also called for the creation of a code of ethics
mandating that journalists promote national unity, and economic and social progress. The plan
was shelved in response to public outcry.
The owners and CEOs of media companies that then comprised the TTPBA saw the need to
establish an independent body charged with enforcing a Code of Practice that was adopted by
the media. Since that time the MCC has been funded and supported by the TTPBA
The MCC is made up of people who can be expected to render sound decisions. The Council
Michael Williams -- Chairman
Robert Henry -- PRO/Deputy Chairman
Patricia Harracksingh -- Attorney-at-law -- Member
Ruth Marcus -- Human Resource Manager -- member
(The late George John also served on the Council)
MCC Mission Statement /Washington News Council
"To help maintain public trust and con dence in the news media by promoting fairness,
courtesy and balance and by creating a forum where the public and the news media can engage
each other in examining standards of journalistic fairness."
This is the reason for the existence of media complaints councils; that, and the opportunity
they provide to hold the media accountable without going to court.
The Media Complaints Council, in the recent past, has adjudicated on several matters
throughout the course of one year. While members of the TTPBA do have running
advertisements advising the public that they can lodge complaints with the MCC, the TTPBA
recognizes that the use of the MCC by the public can be increased. In this regard, having met
with the TTPBA in the last quarter of 2007, the TTPBA has undertaken to assist the MCC with
mounting a simple awareness campaign on radio, television and in the press, letting the public
know, in simple terms, of the existence and role of the MCC. The copy has already been written
and some of the production complete, and members have given their commitment to air and/or
publish these ads.
Additionally, the MCC now has an 800 number (800-4MCC) through which the public can call,
leave a name and number and will receive a return call by an officer of the MCC within 36 hours
at which time they can lodge their complaint.
Telecommunications Authority of Trinidad & Tobago
With the advent of the Telecommunications Authority of Trinidad & Tobago (TATT) in 2005 as
the legal, regulatory body governing telecommunications, including broadcasting, the TTPBA
did have to examine the role of the MCC to determine whether or not there was still need for
such a body. It is for the very reason that the Telecommunication Authority is a state-appointed
regulatory agency that it was felt that there was a need for some measure of independence in
adjudication of media complainant matters.
The question could be asked, "Why should a complainant have to go anywhere else but to
TATT?" and the reason is given above.
The TTPBA feels that there continues to be a need for an independent body which can,
as a nal point of arbitration, present an unbiased opinion and which opinion may be able to
in uence, in some way, TATT's decisions and rulings. The TTPBA has been able to develop, over
the years, a good rapport with the Telecommunications Authority and has been able to in uence
their thinking on several matters that affect the industry. A similar role is envisioned for the MCC.
The MCC often serves to offer some redress to complainants who may not wish to take legal
action but who simply would like to right a perceived wrong. At its optimum, this path may well
protect publishers and broadcasters from legal action and assist TATT by being the recipient of
the more 'minor' complaints.
Links Archive May 15th 2015 May 17th 2015 Navigation Previous Page Next Page