Beautiful Virgin Islands

Tuesday, Oct 04, 2022

Premier promises to help bridge gap between media and gov’t

Premier promises to help bridge gap between media and gov’t

Premier Andrew Fahie said he will do his best in bridging a partnership between the government, public officials and the media to properly inform residents.
Speaking at a press conference on Friday, Fahie acknowledged there is an issue with communication between the media and both public and elected officials but he hopes it can be rectified.

“What I think is we all have to sit down in a forum, and I have to go to the Deputy Governor and my colleagues for us all to have a good forum and sit down,” Fahie said.

He said there is an ethical responsibility for the media, elected officials and public officials to ensure the news gets out to the public in a balanced and fair manner so the Virgin Islands people can make decisions based on the information available to them.

“What I will do is bring it to the attention of the governor and deputy governor and ask for a meeting with the media where we come to find a common ground on how best to bring out this information more and more,” the Premier added.

Fahie also warned that the media should always maintain its integrity and objectivity when reporting on matters in the territory. He said sometimes media houses deliberately omit public/elected officials’ responses from news stories as it does not fit a narrative, or the response is not as controversial as the initial story.

The Premier used the recent arguments surrounding the construction of the West End Ferry Terminal to reinforce his point. He said the conversations ongoing is that the government does not have the funds to complete the project despite him saying there is money.

Fahie said when information like that is released to the public, it is difficult to retract them and the government is now forced to play from behind as the court of public’s opinion has already tried them because of the news stories.

“I think we all have responsibilities to allow for balance. We also need to know what timing we allow for answers. For example, the media cannot call when they get a story saying they want answers now. Persons are in meetings and meetings dealing with people’s work. Sometimes meetings with an international agency”, the Premier said.

“But now we are going to have to come together because you need your story balanced and the quicker you get your story before someone else gets it that’s good. If your media house is known for balance, once you get it out, once you are known for balance that is beautiful,” Fahie continued.

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