The Media Association of Saint Lucia (MASL) views, with disgust, a media release from the Lucian People’s Movement (LPM) captioned “LPM Raises Questions About Alex Bousquet and DBS’s Commitment to Unbiased and Professional [sic] Journalism?”
In the missive, circulated among the media on Monday, February 11, 2013, the political party launched a virulent attack on media workers in general, and in particular, the reporter and media organisation named in the release, over “the level of journalistic independence in the country,” claiming bias and unprofessionalism by the media.
In addition, the LPM asserted that “DBS is not alone in presenting a diluted form of the news to the public, especially when it emanates not from the government but from organizations, which in their journalistic opinion, are “irrelevant” or are not capable of possessing a serious point of view.”
The MASL observes that the LPM criticises Mr. Bousquet’s and DBS’s handling of the embassies and consulate story. However, while the LPM objects to the station carrying snippets of the External Affairs Minister’s statement on two separate occasions without advancing the party’s arguments on the matter, the LPM questions the station’s decision not to carry its statement in full. This would suggest to MASL that the LPM expects a measure of deference by the media to its political viewpoint.
The Media Association of Saint Lucia (MASL) sees the LPM’s assertions as an unprovoked, unwarranted, callous and cowardly attack on the honour, integrity, professionalism and stellar efforts of the men and women who sacrifice every day to bring relevant information to the Saint Lucian public under trying circumstances.
As an organisation, MASL will not sit by and ignore such hostility towards its members, especially by political parties, politicians and their operatives. The MASL believes that the LPM has launched this attack on the media to discredit the work of journalists, reporters and media workers here, in the LPM’s bid to be seen as relevant in the Saint Lucian context.
The MASL is concerned about the LPM’s attempts to dictate how the media conducts its duties. While the association welcomes input on the functioning of the media, MASL would like to advise the LPM and other political parties and politicians that it would be more prudent to offer such advice within the context of a knowledge and understanding of universal media practice.
The Media Association of Saint Lucia would like to encourage its members to continue to be fair, balanced and credible in the conduct of their duties, and to implore all media workers to come together and fulfil their obligations to the association, so MASL can continue to provide strong representation on their behalf.