Journalists and media workers in Barbados have been encouraged to remain committed to the principle of integrity in reporting news to the public.
Minister of Information, Broadcasting and Public Affairs, Senator Lucille Moe, gave this encouragement to members of the Barbados Association of Journalists and Media Workers as she addressed a Mix and Mingle Social last Friday night, at the Argentine Embassy.
Senator Moe told her audience to recommit to the highest ethics and integrity, which she described as the hallmark of every noble profession.
“At times, there appears to be a tendency to place positive news items in the background and place the more sensational items at the forefront. If this country is to move forward, acts of crime and violence cannot be the only things that one gives front page status to sell newspapers. What I am asking is that there be balance in your reporting ….
“I have heard it said that integrity is the cornerstone of a journalist’s credibility. And I totally agree with this position. Why? Because as journalists you are tasked with a responsibility that few other professions can boast. You have that ability to plant seeds that can quickly take root and grow into trees of information,” she said.
Integrity, she continued, was central to their reporting, and insisted that it must underpin their every action, as journalists sought to take the information to the public.
She added that integrity demands that they report the facts and avoid sensationalism; operate with truth and accuracy and report fairly and impartially.
Senator Moe said that at this critical juncture, the media could be a vital partner in imparting developmental information.
She noted that with the digital platforms, which many media houses were utilizing to broaden their reach, they had the ability to exercise even greater influence, not only at home but in the diaspora.
She noted that Government was restructuring the country socially and economically, and suggested that the Barbados Association of Journalists and Media Workers had a role to play in this process.
“Our people need you to report what is happening at home and also at the regional and international levels, so that they are in possession of the facts and are in a better position to make decisions that impact their community accordingly. In other words, you as journalists, as you report and bring news to Barbadians, you create a thread that helps to bind us as a people through the lens and information that you put to us,” she explained.
The Minister told the journalists and media workers that UNESCO had produced an “Excellence in Journalism Series”, which was a repository for journalism education and training worldwide, and urged them to review the document.