Thursday, February 22, 2018

Thanks for keeping us on our toes

Kamla to media:

Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar has said that her Government has a "favourable" working relationship with the media in this country.

"While Government and media may disagree on occasion, as is the case in any healthy functioning family, I believe that media in Trinidad and Tobago generally enjoy a favourable working relationship with my Government," said Persad-Bissessar.

"You keep us on our toes and I thank you and commend you on your vigilance and professionalism," she added.

The Prime Minister was speaking at a cocktail reception in honour of the parliamentary media corps hosted by House Speaker Wade Mark at Tower D of the Port of Spain International Waterfront Centre, on Monday night.

Persad-Bissessar said that under the media's "watchful gaze", her Government will continue to design, develop and implement policies and programmes which will improve the quality of life for every citizen.

According to the Prime Minister, media sometimes at great personal cost, are the eyes and ears of national and international events.

"You are the voices of the public in matters of national interest. You bring together the thoughts and opinions of civil society, the private and public sectors," she said.

"You keep governments focused on the objectives and goals needed to bring success, prosperity and peace to all its citizens. You have an important role to play in ensuring good governance. In the national interest you should always seek truth and beauty at all times," she added.

Mark also praised the media, saying that it played an integral role in society.

"As Members of Parliament and from my own experience as a parliamentarian, we know that media is essential in shaping public opinion and conception on the work that we do and the objectives that we aim to achieve," said Mark.

He pointed out that the average citizen relies heavily on television, radio and newspaper reports to enlighten them on realities of the day, particularly matters in the political arena.

Mark said the media was one of the most important actors in helping the public ensure its right to know.

"There must be a productive working relationship between the media and the Parliament if society is to be reliably and adequately kept abreast of the activities of Government," he said.

The Parliament, he noted, was constitutionally required to hold Government accountable to the people through the examination of and reporting on governmental activities.

"The media through its investigative and reporting activities clearly assists parliamentarians in this regard," said Mark.

The event was attended by media workers from various media houses as well as government ministers.