Twenty-seven (27) Grenadian media workers benefited from a workshop geared at assisting journalists to break new ground in their coverage of the CARICOM Single Market (CSM). The media workers who originated from print and broadcast media houses from both public and private media, participated in the one and a half day workshop which took place at the Radisson Hotel on March 20, 2015.
The consensus among participants, is that more than new learning on news reporting, the workshop significantly demystified the CSME, its institutions, its implementation milestones and the five CSME regimes – Free movement of Skills, Goods, Services, Capital and the Right of Establishment. Contributing to the workshop’s success is what Ministry of Foreign Affairs Permanent Secretary Patricia Clarke referred to, as a committed partnership between her ministry, the CARICOM Secretariat and the Media Workers Association of Grenada. The Ministry for Foreign Affairs is the CSME focal point in Grenada.
The workshop unveiled a novel approach to media training with the inclusion of a three hour CSME plenary ahead of the one day media workshop. In addition to bridging knowledge gaps on the CSM, the plenary also sought to dispel lingering confusion media workers have with the nuances in the interpretation of the rights that attend Grenadians’ dual status as CARICOM Nationals and an OECS Citizens.
A full expose on the institutions of the CSM and some of the landmark rulings of the Caribbean Court of Justice gave participants a deeper appreciation of the CSM as a macrocosm of each individual nation state which make up the space. Armed with this new knowledge,an examination of the role of the media in facilitating democracy and development brought into focus the importance of the sector in ensuring that democratic principles such as good governance, representation, equity and justice are interpreted through the news, as CARICOM nationals exercise their right to move, work and do business across 12 Member States.
The Grenada Informer’s Richard Peters concluded that based on new knowledge gained “we have clearly not been doing enough, because we have been telling the CSME story solely in terms of the CARICOM Heads meeting, what they discussed and what they agreed upon , but not through the stories of people moving and how that is working.” Peters’ sentiments were echoed by veteran independent journalist, Linda Straker who indicated that notwithstanding the volume of information “in this case it sticks, because the information was skillfully unpacked in the context of the news values journalists live by. The workshop demonstrates the myriad ways in which the CSME is now, is about people,has impact, is timely, is very close to home, and is not without its conflicts.”
The workshop culminated with the issuance of certificates to twenty media workers originating from the Government Information Service, Carib Update, City Sound FM, Real FM, GTC Radio, GBN TV, MTV, CC6/Flow, Grenada Informer, Grenadian Voice, The New Today, Boss FM and from the freelance community.
The media workshop followed a one day CARICOM Single Market Spokespersons Training Workshop targeting local CARICOM traders, exporters, professionals and CARICOM Youth Ambassadors, as well as public sector workers who facilitate applications under the four regimes of the CARICOM Single Market. Prior to this Grenadian teachers were trained on methods teach on the CSME through subjects such as Social Studies, Business and Geography.
The media training concludes activities under the CARICOM Single Market Information Flows Project which is building the framework for heightened public education and awareness on the CSME, led by the focal point Ministries in the six CARICOM beneficiary Member States of Belize, Jamaica, Dominica, Grenada and Guyana and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.