Beautiful Virgin Islands


Premier calls for code of conduct after media walkout

Premier calls for code of conduct after media walkout

Premier Dr Natalio Wheatley has so far remained mum over the reason for barring Guavaberry Media operative, Cindy Rosan from a press conference scheduled by his office yesterday.
The media staged a walkout from yesterday’s planned news conference with Premier Wheatley after Rosan was asked to leave and after waiting for nearly an hour past the scheduled start without any communication over the delay from either the Premier’s Office or the Government Information Services (GIS) which usually hosts the government’s press engagements.

At the time of the walkout, there was still no word from the Premier or the GIS over why Rosan was being prevented by both government officials and police officers from participating at the press briefing.

BVI News initially sought to confirm with the Premier that he indeed barred Rosan from participating at his press event, as she contended, and also why this may possibly have happened.

But after asking our news centre to await a response to those questions, Premier Wheatley instead shared a link to a brief statement from his office which impressed the urgent need for a code of conduct among media operatives.

I support free speech

In that statement, Premier Wheatley contended that he was fully supportive of free speech and freedom of the press as pillars of democracy, and said these should both be exercised responsibly and according to high international standards.

“In light of the importance of high journalistic standards to keep the public informed and recent questionable decorum by at least one person at a recent press conference, the Premier’s Office is urgently calling on the press to collaborate on developing a code of conduct that would help to guide the conduct and behaviour of journalists at press conferences and also offer guidance on the handling of misconduct,” the Premier stated.

The Premier’s missive further indicated that his office will be requesting a meeting with the press corps on the development of a policy on government press conferences and shared that he looked forward to engaging ‘vibrant local media partners’ in this endeavour.
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