Media workshop emphasizes need for professionalism By Shawnel Cudjoe & Renu Raghubir
Guyana Chronicle
March 12, 2004

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A MEDIA workshop convened at Liliendaal yesterday emphasized the need for professionalism by media operatives in the execution of their jobs to inform, educate and help bring about social change in Guyana.

More than 30 media personnel attended the workshop, sponsored by the United Nations Educational Scientific Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the Government of Guyana (GOG).

The workshop, which was held at Ocean View International Convention Center, Liliendaal, was themed, "Ethical and Legal Considerations in Media in Guyana." Participants included junior and senior reporters/journalist from print, electronic and broadcast media houses.

Delivering the opening address and declaring the workshop open was Information Liaison to the President/Head of the Government Information Agency (GINA) Mr. Robert Persaud, who spoke on the commitment of the Government to nourish journalism in Guyana.

"The workshop is a very timely one and it serves as a medium of informing journalists about the do's and don'ts of their job". He added that the government recognizes the need for more training and the development of skills, crafts and responsibility of reporters/journalists.

Secretary General of the Guyana National Commission for UNESCO Ms Carmen Jarvis in her brief address to the participants said that UNESCO has always been committed to the promotion of communication for the benefit of mankind.
She outlined some of the obligations of a journalist - to speak or write the truth regardless of the consequences, report only the facts, do not use unfair methods of obtaining information, never disclose a source, rectify any wrongly published article, avoid slander and unfounded accusations and plagiarism and accept no bribes.

Attorney-at-Law Mr. Moses Nagamootoo, speaking on Legal Considerations in Media, explained the meaning of libel - a published or broadcast false and defamatory statement, which damages the reputation of an individual.

Defining Journalism was International Communication Consultant Mr. Hugh Chomondeley, who also spoke about the code of conduct and the constitution as it relates to freedom of speech.

Following those discussions a group session was held where the participants were put in groups and asked to share their views on Media Ethics, Legal Considerations and Training Needs, after which all participants were presented with certificates of participation by Mr. Persaud.

According to Workshop Coordinator Mr. Rovin Deodat, another workshop will be held today for photographers and videographers at the Chronicle Sports Club.