The Media Association of Trinidad and Tobago (MATT) will elect a new executive committee tomorrow on Saturday 24 August at TSTT’s office on the corner of Independence Square and Edward Street in Port of Spain and at 32 St James Street in San Fernando. The two locations will be linked via TSTT’s video-conferencing technology, which is an unprecedented move for MATT.
Twenty-four persons will contest seven available positions on the MATT executive with voting by media workers who are in good financial standing. Journalists whose membership have lapsed or those interested in joining MATT for the first time are asked to register to vote between 9 and 9.30 am at the election venue.
The elections will be conducted by the MATT interim committee, which comprises of Sunity Maharaj, Faine Richards, Lasana Liburd and Kayode James.
And here are the candidates, according to potential post and in alphabetical order:
During the course of his career, Williams covered and broke many major stories including the Inncogen scandal, unearthing the sexual abuse scandal at a leading secondary school and the attempted coup against Hugo Chavez. He interviewed many leading figures including Hugo Chavez and Ariel Sharon and earned a reputation as an insightful and decisive interviewer and reporter.
His career also includes the management of a television newsroom out of which many of the country’s leading journalists have now emerged .
The same passion that fuels me when I highlight the social ills of the voiceless in society, will be the same driving force that will aid me in addressing the concerns of my colleagues in the media fraternity if elected as your next President of the Media Association of Trinidad and Tobago.
Akash Samaroo is a broadcast journalist with One Caribbean Media. He is currently based at i95.5 FM and has over two years of experience in the field.
At 23 years old he is regarded as one of the youngest journalists in Trinidad and Tobago but has had the opportunity to cover a wide range of issues which makes him no stranger to his colleagues and the public. With youth and diligence on his side, Akash is not unfamiliar with hard work and is an asset to any organization.
Akash has a vision for MATT and believes the association will garner strength with numbers but these numbers can only be attained with a fresh new look to repair confidence in an association that for too long has been a toothless entity amidst a biting critical environment. For more follow @AkashSamaroo
Achsah Gulston is a senior Broadcast Journalist and has been with the Caribbean Communications Network for the past seven (7) years. She has had a strong background in television and theatre production, having done productions with the Necessary Arts Production Company.
Achsah possesses strong organisational and leadership skills and has acted in the position of Assignment’s Editor and Producer. She has a passion for the Media and Media Personnel, and sees MATT as the organisation to promote and foster a free and responsible media and to protect and stand with media personnel against unscrupulous and unwarranted attacks.
Achsah has just completed her BA in Media and Communications with the University of Greenwich and is now pursuing her Masters.
Paula Lindo is currently a news editor in the radio department at Caribbean Lifestyle Communications. She was recently promoted to the position after being at the company for a year.
She received her education in journalism at the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine Campus in 2012 and has been working in the media industry in Trinidad and Tobago since then.
Lindo has also received training in law and ethics and other facets of journalism. She was also trained in the use of social media for the promotion of journalism and writing, which would be beneficial to the Media Association.
Lindo also has experience in being Secretary of a group, having received several awards for performance in that position during her time with her local Leo Club in her native Jamaica.
She was also part of the Association of Caribbean Media Workers’ team for the World Congress of the International Press Institute in Trinidad in 2011.
Anil Seerattan has been working in the local media for almost nine years. Anil has both television and radio experience. He is presently the news director of the radio arm of Caribbean Lifestyle Communications Limited (Radio 97.1fm, Ebony 104.1fm, Radio 90.5fm and Heartbeat 103.5fm).
Anil started his career in the media a teenager, and worked his way up the ranks from trainee reporter. He holds a Master’s in Media, Communication and Public Relations from the University of Leicester in the United Kingdom and Bachelor of Education from the University of Trinidad and Tobago.
Anil also lectures part time at the College of Science, Technology and Applied Arts of Trinidad and Tobago. He has participated in many local, regional and international media-related workshops.
Anil has also acted as the facilitator for in-house training of journalists. He has a passion for media education and media development.
I joined the Media Association because I believe there is great potential for any organisation that gathers the people with the most privileged and powerful commodity to develop this country: information.
I believe in the responsibility each of us is accorded to keep the public aware and to keep our leaders in check. We have a special position in society and we must use that in the most profound and productive way to engender an empowered citizenry.
But to do that MATT needs a cohesive vision about its purpose and its principles to encourage positive change within the industry, and in society. We won’t get it right all the time, but we have to be fluid, keep up with the trends if we are to uplift the people of this country.
We may not be loved all the time, and sometimes people won’t always want to believe in us, but the media is the hero Trinidad and Tobago deserves, but not the one it needs right now. So they will hunt us, because we can take it. Because we aren’t heroes. We are guardians of democracy. Watchful protectors. The Media Association of Trinidad and Tobago.
Okay, so that last bit was a paraphrase of Commissioner Gordon from The Dark Knight Rises.
But I do believe that MATT needs an executive that is cognizant of the needs of its members; one that will be willing to act on those needs. The executive of MATT must be of service to the membership, to uphold the duty it has entrusted in the leadership to move the organisation forward positively.
As an integral part of that executive, I will try to bring balance to the management of the organisation’s (financial) resources. These resources, I believe should be devoted to developing what I believe is the most fundamental aspect of our profession—continuous training.
Ultimately, the aim will be to utilize these resources in whatever way is amenable (through consensus) to the membership, so we can develop this Association into something that we can all be proud of—a benchmark of professional excellence.
– Business Reporter at the Trinidad Express. Journalist since 2011.
-26 years old
-Originally from South Oropouche, currently based in Port of Spain
-BA Literatures in English and History from the University of the West Indies, St Augustine
-Former pupil, Naparima Girls’ High School
-Loves cricket and the beach
Karen Cozier Phillip
Cindy Raghubar is a News Reporter for both the television and radio mediums at WIN Caribbean and has been for over a year.
Though relatively new to the field, she has adapted quickly at the institution and on the field. She has been a part of the news and line production aspects as well and determinedly carries out each job. Her hope through contesting this post, is to provide some internal
structure to the Association in an effort to better showcase and promote journalism within and throughout Trinidad and Tobago.
Raghubar has successfully completed a Bachelor’s degree in Communication Studies and Psychology at the University of the West Indies and is currently in pursuit of a master’s programme. She can bring not only a new face to the Association, but a new
mindset that can assist in bolstering the executive.
Her personality and driven nature will allow her to develop not only MATT but its membership as well.
(Floor members—two to be selected)
Richard Charan current holds the position of Multimedia Editor at Caribbean Communications Network (CCN), parent company of the Trinidad Express and TV6. He is in charge of CCN’s operations at its South Bureau in San Fernando, and involved in the development of the company’s online content through its Multimedia Desk.
Richard, who began his career at the TnT Mirror, and spent seven years with the Newsday, has been a journalist for seventeen years. He began as a freelance reporter, and has covered all aspects of news. Before his latest posting with CCN, Richard held the position of Multimedia Investigative Editor, and worked out CCN’s Express House headquarters, where he had a stint with TV6 as part of an investigative desk.
Richard has, during this time, been presented with excellence in journalism awards from RBTT/MATT and the Pan-American Health Organisation (PAHO), in addition to multiple awards in photojournalism.
However, south Trinidad is his home and base, and Richard recognises the important role of the bureaus. He holds the view that the media must seamlessly report issues across all of Trinidad and Tobago regardless of geographic location.
As the only candidate working out of south Trinidad, Richard has decided to offer himself for approval by MATT members, so that the Associations’ work and message can have a greater resonance.
I have spent over six years working as a Journalist in both the Print and Electronic Media, and I have grown to respect the profession and its workings. The experiences I have gained have impacted my life positively. I am dedicated and passionate about my career in journalism, constantly seeking new ways to improve my abilities.
My interests include television features about social and humanitarian issues, as well as general news. I believe that my qualities of honesty, determination and sacrifice, among others will play a vital role within the Media Association of Trinidad and Tobago.
I hope my experience and the fact that I am still in the field reporting, can help carry the professional concerns and needs of my colleagues to the executive, so they may be addressed.
I hope my energy and enthusiasm for quality journalism, along with a genuine desire to see my colleagues progress and be protected professionally, will help the general membership feel connected to the Association’s executive and help them to understand that MATT is as effective and powerful as they make it and vice versa.
Editor’s Note: All candidates were asked to submit bios and photographs although only some complied. Francesca Hawkins and Kristee Kalisingh withdrew their candidacies for executive positions for personal reasons.