Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Letter: MATT's response to Jack's letter to Express reporter "hypocritical"

As I listened to the TV6 News on Sunday night I could not help but be amused at the irony and hypocrisy of the report of MATT’s take on Minister Warner’s response to Camini Marajh’s questions. 

This seems to be the latest manoeuvre in the ongoing war between the media and the Government of the day. The irony is that this war is on a battlefield created and controlled by the media and serves no one else but the media itself.

I do not count myself as a blind supporter of the Partnership Government. My interest is in seeing a healthy democracy and I feel that a fair and unbiased media is key to achieving that.

However, when the Prime Minister complained that certain elements in the media (ie not all reporters) were being unfair to her Government by focusing only on perceived failings and never on any positive benefits to the country, her statements were portrayed as vilifying all reporters and saying that the media must be a mouthpiece for the Government.

This mischaracterisation went so far as to involve the International Press Institute (IPI) who in effect said that the press had no duty to seek the interest of the Government. 

It is therefore ironic now that MATT would complain that the responses to Camini Marajh’s questions were sent to the entire media corps.

First, if one member of the press is entitled to know what Warner’s response is then aren’t all others so entitled? Would it be favouritism to do otherwise? Second, in the TV6 report, MATT in effect argued that there is competition amongst reporters for news, so Camini would have suffered some loss by Warner copying the entire press corps. 

Perhaps the IPI should write to MATT and remind them that the government has no duty to seek the interest of any particular reporter.

While the IPI and MATT ostensibly are seeking to protect the freedom of expression of their journalists, they seem to ignore the freedom of expression of Government ministers to say when they feel they and their Government are being treated unfairly.

We are still a young democracy and it is incumbent on all sectors of our society to act responsibly to ensure our country achieves its fullest potential. The media does have a responsibility to inform the public where the Government and other major actors on the national stage have failed, but it is equally, if not more important, to highlight the positives in our society. Failing this we will never grow as a people and as a Republic.

Allan Hewitt

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Jai & Sero

Jai & Sero

Our family at home in Toronto 2008

Our family at home in Toronto 2008
Amit, Heather, Fuzz, Aj, Jiv, Shiva, Rampa, Sero, Jai