Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : July 15th 2013 Contents Minimum wage still to be reviewed --- McLeod News --- Page A6
POST YOUR VIEWS ON ANY OF TODAY'S STORIES @ WWW.GUARDIAN.CO.TT
COP backs UNC in
FROM PAGE A1
He said it is not expected in local government elec-
tions. Ramadhar said the party wished Daniel well.
When asked if he saw Daniel s defection affecting
the party s chances in the local government elections,
Ramadhar said: "Not at all. Indeed I want to say we
have to be careful of the flavour of the month or the
colour of the month and consistency is critically
important and this nation seeks now more than ever
to have a sense of trust in political parties and con-
fidence in them."
He said more will be said at the party s public
meeting on Tuesday.
When asked about the conduct of the campaign
for Chaguanas West seat, Ramadhar said unfortunately,
it has been the history of politics.
"We do not believe in character assassination,
however, if the truth has to be spoken on issues then
you cannot avoid it," he said.
"Others may describe it as mudslinging. But look
at where we were in 2010, what the COP has said
then and what we say today. Consistency and it is
about values and standards not about personalities."
Asked about Warner s signal to join the partnership,
Ramadhar said it was a simple mathematical equa-
"The partnership agreement which we are now
respecting, unless that is changed---and I don t foresee
it now being changed, it would be changed for 2015
maybe---says that when a partner puts a candidate
the others have to support, so it can t be that you
are contesting against a partner and then say you
want to join in partnership," he said.
"That is a contradiction mathematically impos-
The party said negotiations were to be held between
the partnership members to determine which local
government corporations would be fought singularly
Ramadhar said yesterday that the party s National
Council agreed that the party will fight three (Arima,
Diego Martin and San Fernando) corporations sin-
gularly in the upcoming local government elections.
He said he party will screen candidates in prepa-
ration for what it wants to achieve.
Seepersad-Bachan said the party s position was
tabled at the last chairman s meeting and that it was
put as the COP s position on the negotiating table.
She said the negotiations would have started last
Wednesday and completed on July 21.
"COP is still of the view we must make deci-
sions...We cannot wait until after the by-election to
make decisions about seats," she said.
Monday, July 15, 2013 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
for 12th JULY, 2013
In 2005 I resigned as acting editor of
the T&T Guardian on a matter of princi-
It was a decision that took me perhaps
30 minutes to make, and I was sure it was
the right thing to do.
During the course of the last week, I spent
several days considering leaving the Guardian
again. But at no point was I certain that
leaving would be the right decision.
Before returning to the Guardian last
March, I had spent two years talking to the
managing director, Gabriel Faria, and other
executives, about the prospect of going back.
When I eventually decided to accept the
paper s offer to lead the editorial department,
I felt comfortable that things were different.
The company now recognised that change
was needed and the quality of the paper
had to be lifted in a number of ways.
During the last 15 months I have been
supported by our MD and the board in
building a very good team that I feel has
the potential to be the best in the business.
We have worked to support and develop
the talents of journalists already in the news-
room. We brought in and are still bringing
in others---editors, columnists, reporters and
photographers---who include Irving Ward,
Denyse Renne, Franka Philip and Darren
We have worked very hard, and the coun-
try and our competitors have recognised
that in that short time we have made a dif-
ference. We have been responsible for major
stories on topics that include Section 34,
the $6.8 million firetruck, the revived Flying
Squad, Dr Hafizool Mohammed and the
botched Sea Lots probe.
The process of transforming the Guardian
is far from complete, and we still need to
raise our standards further.
During this period, the board has
expressed concerns about political bias and
accuracy. Both have been the subjects of
lengthy and sometimes heated discussions
Last week I was asked to expand and
complete a document outlining editorial
policy and guidelines. Not an unreasonable
proposal---but in order to do so, I was man-
dated to "go offline"---a phrase open to
In any media house there is always tension
between the newsroom and the boardroom.
Journalists are focused on reporting the
news in the interest of the public; directors
are concerned with the interests of share-
holders. In 2013 we are working in a country
with a politically overheated climate. Con-
spiracy theories abound, and paranoia is
widespread. Press freedom must be espe-
cially zealously guarded in such circum-
There were reports of the dismissal of
our MD and our sector head and about
political interference at the board level.
There were conflicting versions of what was
happening and why. Feelings inside and
outside the newsroom ran high.
On Wednesday, I met with a group of
senior editors to decide on a joint course of
action, but the situation was still unclear.
We agreed to wait for 24 hours. Reporters
Denyse Renne and Anika Gumbs and public
affairs editor Dr Sheila Rampersad, however,
chose to tender their resignations imme-
In fairness to the Guardian, throughout
the week the company was open to talks
and we had several meetings, including one
painfully frank but mutually enlightening
discussion with senior management last
At that meeting I listed the conditions
under which I would agree to stay, and the
company agreed to meet them.
An important statistic was cited in that
meeting: that the ANSA McAL group derives
only two per cent of its revenue from gov-
This puts a completely different com-
plexion on the belief that the group is vul-
nerable to political pressure.
It also became apparent during that meet-
ing that there had been a number of
appalling misunderstandings and hasty judg-
ments on both sides, some fuelled by mis-
information and active mischief fed into
the newsroom from external sources.
At that point, given the widespread belief
that what was going on was a battle for
press freedom, it would still have been easier
for me to claim what appeared to be the
moral high ground and leave. In the knowl-
edge of the real circumstances, however,
although it would have saved me much
embarrassment and criticism, I don t believe
it would have been the right thing to do.
Journalism is not just a job. It goes beyond
the contract one has with one s employer.
It also entails a commitment and obligation
to the ethics of the profession, and to the
I also have obligations to the newsroom
team that I have the privilege to lead.
If I left, other members of that team
would also leave, and the work that we have
been doing over the past year would come
to an abrupt and premature end.
I don t believe anyone s interests---not
the newsroom s, not the Guardian s, not the
country s---would be best served by that.
The journalists who opted to tender their
resignations last week did so at a time when
a great deal of misinformation was circu-
lating and I very much regret the position
in which they found themselves.
Dr Sheila Rampersad and I have known
each other for over 20 years. I have the
greatest respect for her principles, her intel-
ligence and her professional skills. But I
genuinely believe that she is mistaken in
continuing to insist that there was a sur-
render to political pressure and that press
freedom is under threat at the Guardian.
As Sheila knows, I asked for and received
a guarantee from the company that we must
be free to practise journalism as we have
done in this newsroom for the past 15
months, on exactly the same terms. The
company accepted that. Both sides have
made a renewed commitment to accuracy,
balance and responsible reporting.
As a journalist and as an executive mem-
ber of the Media Association---a post from
which I have now resigned---I have worked
to promote press freedom and I am not
going to betray that principle now.
If I believed for a moment that there had
been or would be any infringement of that
freedom at the Guardian, or that my role
as EIC were being curtailed, I would not
have chosen to stay.
The work goes on
An important statistic was cited in
that meeting: that the ANSA McAL
group derives only two per cent of its
revenue from government contracts.
This puts a completely different
complexion on the belief that the
group is vulnerable to political
JUDY RAYMOND, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF T&T
Links Archive July 14th 2013 July 16th 2013 Navigation Previous Page Next Page