Guyanese media workers who recently benefited from training to enhance reporting on the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) has committed to highlighting its benefits and opportunities for all Guyanese though their media entities. The two-day intensive CSME media training, executed by Right Angle Imaging Consultancy, was coordinated by Guyana’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs with funding from the Government of Canada under Component 300 of the CARICOM Trade and Competitiveness Project (CTCP) that seeks to enhance regional information flows on the CSME.
At the opening of the workshop, Programme Manager of the Communications Unit, CARICOM Secretariat, Kendol Morgan told the participants that their reportage remained critical to the success of the CSME. Morgan underscored the importance of media networking with process owners to clarify, inform and motivate citizens to fully exploit the various opportunities associated with the CARICOM Single Market. He further stated that “CARICOM has not learned how to boast of its achievements” thus the low levels of information and appreciation for the single space that has been created, while adding that “Information needs to flow from the decision of CARICOM Heads to the layman.”
Although the CSME operates under five regimes -The Free movement of goods, Services, Capital, Skills and the Right of Establishment – most media participants were aware of mainly the free movement of skills. However, Technical Coordinator within the Technical Action Services Unit, CARICOM Secretariat, Mr. Melbour Phillip explained that the remaining regimes were equally significant for all Guyanese to access. Phillip told reporters that even as CARICOM Member States are seeking to expand the categories of citizens who can move freely the involvement of technical expertise, the private sector, state and non-state agencies was critical to intra-regional trade to strengthen the gains under the CSME.
During the second day of the CSME media training participants were introduced to the process of applying for skills certificates for Media Workers, while video testimonies from three leading Caribbean media workers brought real examples of the process into the training room.
In pointing participants to their own mission as reporters under the theme “Me and the Mission” RAI communications consultant Carolyn Walcott shared examples of sources of news that they should pursue to ensure adequate information dissemination and informed action by citizens. Participants also grouped to draw out hidden CSME stories to improve their human interest appeal for citizens while creating balance and maintaining simplicity for all media platforms. The day’s final session, which highlighted a role for the Media in CSME education, climaxed with brainstorming among the media participants who came up with solutions for balancing news content on the CSME.