Denis Chabrol is new Guyana Press Association Head
Kaieteur News
June 28, 2004

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After four years, the members of the Guyana Press Association yesterday elected a new executive body with French Press Agency correspondent, Denis Chabrol, as it’s President.

Following an opening statement by outgoing President Adam Harris, on the four years he headed the association, Editor of NCN News Magazine, Wilfred Cameron objected to the meeting and questioned the right of the GPA to convene the meeting. He is not a financial member. His move was seconded by Jasmini Sahoye of NCN radio.

Cameron cited the absence of audited financial accounts. He also queried the last time the GPA held an executive meeting. Executive meetings of the GPA are held once monthly.

Cameron then announced that he heads a newly formed media body with some members of NCN and that he therefore does not recognise the GPA.

When asked by the GPA secretary (now Vice President) Julia Johnson, to produce the signatories to such a body, Cameron failed to do so. He then excused himself from the meeting.

But other members of the National Communications Network (NCN) present at the meeting expressed surprise at Cameron’s action, contending that they were unaware that NCN had mandated him to mount an objection. They then said that his views were not representative of theirs.

In relation to the issue of audited accounts, the secretary said that while there is no audited statement, all payments made are accounted for by way of receipts.

The GPA is a founding member of the Association of Caribbean Media Workers (ACMW) and is the national body representing media operatives.

Chabrol, 38, received a majority support to be named the President of the GPA. Chabrol has twenty years experience as a reporter with a BSC degree in communications from the University of Guyana. He is a correspondent with the French Press Agency and contributes to the BBC Caribbean Service.

Prime News Editor, Julia Johnson moved up from secretary to become Vice President. Michelle Nurse from Chronicle was elected Secretary; Iana Seales of Stabroek News was elected Treasurer and the Assistant Secretary/Treasurer position went to Managing Director of News2, Dwayne Fowler.

The committee members are: Margaret Lawrence; Enrico Woolford; Bert Wilkinson and Patrick Denny; Zaheer Abbass; Quacy Isles; Kit Nascimento; Brigadier (ret’d) David Granger; and Nazima Raghubir.

In his remarks, before the new Executives were elected, Kaieteur News editor, Adam Harris said that it has been hectic since the last four years, which saw many changes in the media landscape. “One of the achievements over the years is the Association’s collaboration with the British High Commission to host a two-week Thompson Foundation course for reporters from both the state and private media”.

Heartened at the support received, the new GPA President said that the Executives would meet next Wednesday to put things in place for the smooth functioning of the association.

“Media operatives will be approached individually to become members of the GPA which is part of the regional network of media workers”.

Chabrol added that the association’s aim is to embark on an outreach programme to have members drawn from around the country and that a policy framework will be worked on.